Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 4/13/12

Brayden Schenn broke out in Game 1 of the Flyers-Pens series, and helped the Flyers to a comeback win with a goal and two assists.

In a game that Philadelphia sports fans will regard as folklore for generations to come, the Flyers bounced back from an early three goal deficit to defeat the interstate rival Penguins in overtime. While this is obviously a great win to open a playoff series that has all the makings of a classic, it is important to keep the head on our collective shoulders and avoid jumping to conclusions, whether they be positive or negative. So with a full day to reflect on the emotional roller coaster of Game One, let’s touch on some key points that could have a lasting effect on this first round series.

First and foremost, let’s make it very clear that this series is far from over. While the Flyers managed to lock up at the very least a split in Pittsburgh, anybody who has seen this explosive Penguins team knows that they are capable of rattling off wins faster than a Michael Phelps breast stroke. Additionally, Philly has displayed a complete lack of energy in the first period of basically every game since the All Star Break. While the Orange and Black may have escaped with a victory this time around, I don’t expect that formula to bring any parades down Broad Street. The Flyers will need to find a way to show some fire even before a well-timed Peter Laviolette time out if they expect to advance to move forward in pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Now, on to the positives. It seems like the the mental edge resides firmly in Eastern Pennsylvania. The Flyers are now a staggering 6-1-0 all time at the Consol Energy Center, with the only loss happening in a season finale that had no significance in regards to points or seeding. In fact, both teams had key players sitting out to rest for the playoff; 40 goal scorer James Neal for the Penguins and MVP candidate Claude Giroux for the Flyers. In fact, the Penguins executed a goalie change almost exactly halfway through the meeting, much akin to a preseason exhibition. Every meaningful game played in Pittsburgh’s new home has ended in Mac Miller’s “Knock Knock” emanating from the visitor’s locker room. In Philadelphia, the Penguins have gone .500 against the Bullies, netting a 3-3-0 record over the past two seasons. Not terrible, but factor in their horrifying home record and the untouchable Penguins seem incredibly mediocre against our boys in orange.

Game One also brought some shining stars to the forefront, some expected and some surprising. Danny Briere was cleared hours before game time to dress, and the man that Philadelphia has lovingly dubbed “Mr. Playoffs” showed up almost immediately. Netting the first two goals to spark the Flyer comeback, Danny B also took a brutal hit from Brooks Orpik that led to a game-tying power play goal by Brayden Schenn, who made a himself an instant hometown hero. Maybe it was just his hard hitting, full throttle attitude, but it started feeling like Schenn was on the ice during every shift. Not a minute went by when we didn’t hear his name attached to a vicious hit or scoring chance. Visions of JVR flying around like Braveheart during the Buffalo series last year swirled through my head as I watched this kid go from local obscurity to national sensation in sixty minutes of hockey.

And let’s not forget Mr. Universe himself, Ilya Bryzgalov. Regardless of the early three goals, Bryz showed up for playoff hockey and tended goal accordingly. I can honestly say without any sort of local bias that two out of the three goals surrendered by the Flyers’ netminder were flukey at best. A slap shot knocked down by Grossmann right onto the backhand of Sidney Crosby and a blown icing that led to a strange bouncing puck were the only thing that kept this game from being a blowout in Philadelphia’s favor. The Iron Curtain (Yes, I’m creating my own nicknames now) put the Fly Guys on his back through the final two periods, making key save after key save on odd-man rushes. If Ilya keeps his focus and continues playing the way he played through the final two periods, the Flyers will be a very dangerous team through the entire playoffs.

After a rousing first stanza, this series is still up for grabs. Going out and punching the Penguins in the mouth to take both games in Pittsburgh could be a morale crushing blow. However, sitting back and being satisfied with a cross-state split could prove to be deadly for the Flyers. If the overtime thriller we witnessed is any sign of what’s to come, predicting a winner would be futile. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Similar Posts:

  • The Flyers Face Some Questions As NHL Playoffs Approach
  • Bryzgalov and Flyers Getting Their Act Together at the Right Time?
  • Wounded Flyers Grossmann and Briere May Be Ready for Pens
  • Bryz Is NHL’s First Star
  • Wayne Simmonds and Max Talbot Proving to be Solid Additions for Flyers

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