2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – First Round Series Recap
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 7 - Philadelphia 5, Buffalo 2 – Flyers win series, 4-3
The Philadelphia Flyers love living on the edge. It seems as though they don’t really give a lick until their back are against the wall. The instructive note, though, is this: When the Flyers do give a lick, they always seem to come through. Passion and want-to are nice, but if they’re not supplemented by results, they don’t mean very much. Throughout the 2010 playoffs and in the first round of the 2011 postseason, the Flyers have regularly delivered the goods when faced with an elimination game.
In a series that went the distance, Brian Boucher did the same in a defining situation. It seems as though it was decade ago that a Flyer netminder went the distance in a playoff game and got the win. Boucher will get another round of playoff hockey to prove he's the goalie who can lead the Broad Street Bullies to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1975. Boucher stopped 26 shots on the evening and helped his Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a resoundingly decisive win over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7 of their first-round series.
Braydon Coburn got the Flyers off to a good start with a goal at 19:41 of the first period. The Flyers continued to roll in the second period when they scored two unanswered power play goals. The first came from the former Buffalo forward Danny Briere at 4:45; Briere terrorized his former team and made the luckless city of Buffalo groan with irritation. It’s bad enough that Buffalo gets left at the sports altar time after time after time; it has to be that much worse for the folks in Western New York that Briere was the Flyer who really stuck the dagger in the Sabres’ hearts on Tuesday.
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The second one of the two power-play goals was netted by James van Riemsdyk at 10:19, and by that time, a 3-0 lead had the Wells Fargo Center rocking with expectant joy. The Broad Street Bullies kept getting to besieged Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller in the third period. Ville Leino virtually put the game on ice with a goal at 1:59 of the last period, chasing Miller and leading Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, the longest-tenured coach in the NHL, to effectively wave the white flag.
In mop-up time, Buffalo finally got on the score sheet with a goal scored by Tyler Myers at 6:33.
The Flyers provided the icing on the cake when Daniel Carcillo netted a tack-on tally at 10:03. The final goal of game and series was scored by Brad Boyes on the man advantage at 15:21.
Once again, the Flyers took a playoff series to the limit. When will they learn to play their best hockey earlier in the series and make life much easier for themselves and their very passionate fans? Who knows?
Then again, as long as they keep winning sixth and seventh games, they’ll move forward on the road to the Stanley Cup, and in the end, that’s the only thing that matters.
By: Matt Zemek
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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