Despite being shorthanded, Bruins put chokehold on Flyers in Game 3
Another game, another short bench for Boston Bruins coach
"I thought it was a real good road game on our part," Julien said. "For us to go down to a short bench and sustain it, I thought our guys responded well. If anything I thought it was a real gutsy effort on our part.... What I liked about our team is that we didn't really panic. [The Flyers] had some really great opportunities tonight, and our goaltender came up big for us."
Yes, the Flyers did score first; they earned their first lead in three games 2½ minutes into the game, when
And then, it took just another 94 seconds for the Bruins to put the Flyers back in that place where they've been languishing in this series: fighting from behind. In the first two games, both one-goal affairs and decided late (in the case of Game 1, 13:52 into overtime), Philadelphia leaned on some dashing individual efforts to pull them out and even, but that hasn't been enough. When the Bruins scored on the power play early in the third period, the silence in the Wachovia Center was noticeable, almost awkward, like the sound of Philadelphian optimism seeping out of the building.
By the last minutes, whatever was left of it all but funneled out of the arena, when
"I like our game; I don't like the scoreboard," Philadelphia head coach
But how elusive it's been for Philadelphia.
By the third period, with the Bruins collapsing down on the Flyers, protecting a 3-1 lead, Philadelphia's leaders again tried to lug the team out. "We got away from what we were trying to do," says Flyers defenseman
At the end, the Bruins were just too effective at impeding the Flyers in the neutral zone, blocking shots, clearing rebounds, staying strong in battles along the boards -- all of the little things that players have to do as a team to win.
"Looking at the games, you can sit here and say, 'Well, they were close; they had a chance to win,'" Pronger said. "But that's not good enough. We're not here to keep it close or almost do something. We're here to win hockey games."
Pronger shouldn't get ahead of himself or his team; he should be using the singular. On the edge of their season, a loss from a long summer, the Flyers will have to find a way to win one hockey game before it can even think about winning more.