Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 5/4/12

It was to be their final line change of the game. With Erik Gustaffson and Brayden Schenn caught, Ilya Kovalchuk launched a nifty long pass down the ice and found Alexei Ponikarovsky streaking toward the net 1-on-1 against Andreas Lilja. He took one shot that Bryzgalov stopped, but the puck bounced back to him and he slid it into the net for an overtime winner.

Just like that the Philadelphia Flyers were down to the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in their best of 7 series.

The Flyers were given a makeover between games 2 and 3 as coach Peter Laviolette looked for a spark by changing up his lines. After being badly outplayed in the first period, the team started to show some signs of life in the second.

The Devils were relentless though, and Philly’s stars, aside from Danny Briere, never really got it going. The Flyers would push, and the Devils pushed back even harder.

Even after Briere knotted the game at 3 and sent it to overtime, the Flyers had their chances. They were given 2 overtime power plays, but did little with them. They came out with great energy at the start of the overtime period, but as the period drew longer, you could feel the tide turning.

There was a lot of talk about the youthfulness of the Flyers in their first round matchup against the Penguins. Many felt the Flyers were too young and inexperienced to win. Their youth served them well in that series, with rookies playing like poised and grizzled vets. Against the Flyers, the Devils have looked like the team with all of the experience while the Flyers have looked like they lack a plan, strategy and the legs to keep up with their foe.

I’d say that maybe the Flyers’ new line combos may have been part of the issue as the team seemed to lack chemistry at points in the game, but I don’t blame Laviolette for trying something new after the 4-1 drubbing on Tuesday. At the same time, I think I would have preferred to ride the lines that got me this far.

The Flyers need more out of Claude Giroux. He seemed timid on Thursday night, and the Flyers need him to step up and lead this team as he has recently. They need more energy.

The Flyers will play again on Sunday. Doubts are surely creeping into their thoughts as the Devils are probably feeling pretty good about themselves. I think this goes without saying, but Sunday is a must win for this Flyers team now.

The Flyers play well when they’re put into a corner. Let’s hope they can find the fortitude to climb out of this and knot the series up.Similar Posts:

  • Flyers to Meet Devils in 2nd Round of Playoffs
  • Flyers Get Thrilling 4-3 Overtime Win…Twice
  • Flyers Will Need to Shake Off the Rust Against the Devils
  • Flyers Fail to Show Up, Devils Tie Series Up
  • Bryz Not To Blame for Flyers Poor Play in Game 2

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