Even when the Philadelphia Flyers were down 2-0 and 3-1 in the first period, there was a weird feeling that it wouldn’t be that easy for the Buffalo Sabres.
After all, it’s never really easy when it comes to the Flyers in the playoffs. This team might not always get from Point A to Point B in the most elegant way, but they tend to produce their best work when they need it the most. That’s the best way to explain their shaggy, bizarre journey to this overtime period.
Buffalo 4, Philadelphia 4 (third intermission); Sabres lead series 3-2
After two outrageous periods, the teams slowed down a bit on the scoreboard even if the pace barely dropped a notch. The defense wasn’t always pretty, but it was a lot of fun to watch.
Scott Hartnell scored the only goal of the third period, although Mike Richards ended up making it happen. It’s a tough-to-stomach moment for those who thought Richards should have been booted out of the game for boarding Tim Connolly. Connolly probably won’t return to the game, although that hasn’t been officially confirmed.
Ryan Miller stopped 41 out of 45 shots while Brian Boucher maded 23 out of 24 saves in relief of Michael Leighton.
Both teams are working hard – even if they’re not always “working smart” – but it all comes down to overtime now. If the Sabres score, they’ll move on to a second round match against the first seeded Washington Capitals. If the Flyers manage to complete their unlikely comeback, they’ll force a Game 7 in Philadelphia. It should be fun (and nerve-wracking) to watch.