Flyers Winger James Van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup last night for the first time since March 1st, but it wasn't enough to keep the Flyers from losing.
The series has gone from 3-0 to 3-2 in the blink of an eye. All of the feel good stories about how well Flyers’ rookies have played and how poorly the Penguins’ stars have played have all dissipated. So has all of the confidence the Flyers showed while handing these Pens a 3-0 deficit in what could only be described as shocking.
In the last two games of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, Pittsburgh has played like… Well, Pittsburgh.
Evgeni Malkin has found the game that he was missing, and aside from some dumb penalties, some called and some not, and almost taking out teammate Sidney Crosby, he has been pretty stellar and every bit the Hart Trophy winner that he will likely be.
The Flyers played too calmly and looked like they lacked emotion. In some cases, emotion gets you into trouble, but in this series, emotion is what has sparked the Flyers. They have fed on the emotion and the buzz. They had none of it last night and even less of it on Wednesday night.
The pressure is undoubtedly back on the Flyers. They have blown two opportunities to close this down, and have only one more good opportunity to do so. The Flyers will head back to the Wells Fargo Center, the home of the war that erupted in game 3, with the hopes that they’ll be able to close it out there.
One more failure, and all of the certainty goes out the window. No one wants a game 7. And frankly, if it gets to game 7, then it’s probably the Penguins’ game to take. Game sevens are a roll of the dice. A total crap shoot. Come out and play flat, and your season is over.
These Flyers have battled too hard to have that be their fate. They have captured the heart of the city, and they deserve a much more befitting end.
They have one more chance to accomplish it tomorrow at noon.