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Flyers: In Case You Missed It (Week Ending 4/9)

Welcome to this week’s edition of Flyers: In Case You Missed It. In this column, we’ll briefly recap the Flyers games from the past week, as well as report on any current team news.

Photo Credit: AP Photo

Tuesday, April 5th – Senators 5, Flyers 2
This season, the Ottawa Senators were not a very good team (okay, that’s an understatement, but I’m trying to be nice). On Tuesday against the Flyers, though, they looked like one, which is saying a lot about what the Flyers looked like. Mike Richards scored the only two Flyers goals, while five separate players scored for the Senators. Sergei Bobrovsky, who had been announced as the official starting goaltender for the playoffs, gave up four goals in the loss. He can’t be the only one blamed, though; the defense looked shaky and the offense wasn’t giving him anything to work with. It was just an ugly game. The only upside was that both of Richards’ goals came on the power play; unfortunately, no one else could come up with a goal to help out the team. The loss was the Flyers’ fourth straight and cost them first place in the East, placing them two points below the Washington Capitals.
*For a more in-depth recap of this game, click here.

Friday, April 8th – Sabres 4, Flyers 3 (OT)
The Flyers got a little help from the Sabres even before Friday’s game started, knowing that all-star goaltender Ryan Miller would not be starting in net due to a back injury. Miller wound up coming in for the third period to relieve Jhonas Enroth, who gave up all three Flyers goals, and held off the Flyers to lead his team into overtime, and ultimately to the victory. Scott Hartnell scored the first goal of the game for the Flyers with less than ten minutes to go in the first period, but the Sabres had the 2-1 lead less than five minutes into the second. Kris Versteeg tied it up, and then Danny Briere gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead heading into second intermission. Once Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres to tie it up again halfway through the third period, the Flyers couldn’t come back from it, and the game went into overtime, where Thomas Vanek scored the game-winning goal for the Sabres about a minute in. The win secured a playoff berth for the Sabres.
*For a more in-depth recap of this game, click here.

Saturday, April 9th – Flyers 7, Islanders 4
This one was a wild one from the beginning. Kimmo Timonen scored the Flyers’ first goal just sixteen seconds into the game, and Scott Hartnell scored about thirty seconds later to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, the Islanders came back and had the game tied up almost ten minutes into the first. Danny Briere gave the Flyers the lead again, but John Tavares scored for the Islanders to tie it up once more, and the first period ended with the game tied at 3-all. Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up those three goals; in relief, Brian Boucher was solid, making 25 of 26 saves. With two goals from Andrej Meszaros, a second one from Hartnell, and an empty-netter from Darroll Powe (with one second left in regulation), the Flyers went on to beat the Islanders 7-4 and clinch the Atlantic Division for the first time since the 2003-2004 season. They ended their season in second place in the Eastern Conference, and will go on to face the Buffalo Sabres in round one of the playoffs.
*For a more in-depth recap of this game, click here.

It sure wasn’t pretty (in fact, it was downright ugly at times), but the Flyers clinched the Atlantic Division with their win over the Islanders on Saturday night. While they didn’t end up in first place in the Eastern Conference, which they really should have (but let’s not rehash that again), they got the 2nd seed and will now take on Buffalo in the first round. The last week wasn’t the best for the Flyers, but they’ve been showing more signs of life lately, which is a good thing. Friday’s game against the Sabres, though it ended in Buffalo’s favor, was a hard-fought effort. The Flyers played well, but couldn’t get the job done. As compared to Tuesday’s game against the Senators, where the Flyers just seemed to give up partway through, it was a definite improvement. And Saturday’s game, though tough at times, was a good one for the Flyers. They were moving their legs quickly and taking advantage of the opportunities they created. One of Andrej Meszaros’ two goals in that game was a power play goal, which, as we all know, the Flyers have had trouble scoring this season, so that’s always a nice thing to see.

The regular season has been somewhat of a roller coaster, with the Flyers doing so well and coasting to and along the top of the East, and then struggling toward the end. But the regular season is over now, and it’s time to look ahead to the playoffs. Our own Mark Trible tweeted last night that there was a sense of relief in the Flyers dressing room after the game. Whether it was relief over the season being finished, or clinching the Atlantic Division, or the playoffs finally being here, who really knows for sure? Either way, it’s time to move on. The Flyers need sixteen more wins to bring the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia, and part two of their journey begins on Thursday with the start of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.