Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 4/11/12

Even as late as Wednesday morning, Danny Briere was admitting nothing other than that he was feeling better every day. Under orders not to say anything in the days following the upper back contusion he suffered at the hands of the Penguins’ Joe Vitale with a week to go in the regular season, Briere was doing his level best to make his lips move and provide no information. He was even doing it in two languages.

Only later did Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren admit the obvious: that Briere, a point-a-game scorer in his career in the Stanley Cup playoffs, was going to be out there for Game 1 against the Penguins. This is his time, these are his moments, and Briere was not going to miss this one.

As Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said, “He’s a difference-maker. I think his career path, not only in the regular season but especially in the playoffs, he shows what an effective player he can be. The bigger the circumstances, the bigger the performance. Since I’ve been here, that’s my take on Danny.

“Give him something to thrive in and he thrives,” Laviolette said.

And then it happened.

It was Briere, the savvy veteran, and Brayden Schenn, the emerging kid, who triggered a Flyers comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the first period to a 3-3 tie in the third period. Each of them had a vital role in each step of the climb out of the hole that the Flyers managed: 3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, overtime. And if the ending is all anyone will remember — a goal by the Flyers’Jakub Voracek with 2:23 gone in overtime — the truth is that the series will likely be defined mostly by what led up to the ending. That is, the battle between the Penguins’ speed and the Flyers’ will.

And on Wednesday, it was Briere who defined that will.

Basket-hanging and maybe offsides, it was Briere who scored the Flyers’ first goal in the second period on a pass from Brayden Schenn. It was a crucial ice-breaker for a Flyers team that had been out-skated badly in the first period by the Penguins.

Then, in the third period, it was Briere who snaked a shot through traffic, a shot from the extreme outside of the faceoff circle, and brought the Flyers to within 3-2. The momentum had begun to shift and this was the affirmation the Flyers needed.

Minutes later, it was Briere who drew an interference penalty on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, giving the Flyers their first power play of the game. And while on that power play, it was Schenn who scored the goal that tied the game at 3-3, redirecting a slap-pass from Scott Hartnell.

In that way, Briere (and Schenn) had a hand in every bit of the kind of comeback that has come to define this Flyers team. In the first period, the Penguins’ speed had been breath-taking. It had left everybody wondering if this was some extra playoff gear, and if the Flyers had anything to counteract it.

Now, we know.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance


Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker