On Sunday afternoon, the Flyers said all the right things. The unsuspecting young team was the underdog in the series, yet still took a commanding 3-0 lead over the Penguins.
“If there’s a team that can come back from 3-0 this year I think it’s them,” Claude Giroux said Sunday after a goal and an assist in an 8-4 win. “So we need to understand that. We need to make sure that we’re focused for Wednesday.”
So much for that. The Flyers looked like they were already on what would have been a break of a week and a half had they clinched the series last night. Instead they took an on-ice vacation in a 10-3 loss.
Undisciplined play, poor defense, bad goaltending. Game 4 had everything that Peter Laviolette asked the Flyers not to do. Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled in the second period and allowed five goals on 18 shots. He now has a .844 save percentage to go along with a 4.98 goals-against average for the series. Sergei Bobrovsky was no better. He allowed five goals on 18 shots.
Even though the Flyers looked like they could overcome anything in Games 1, 2 and 3, they warned that the Penguins wouldn’t roll over and die.
“They’re kind of a streaky team,” Giroux said. “They can win a lot of games in a row.”
Now the goal is to make sure that streak doesn’t come to fruition for the Penguins, who had four power-play goals on the night while the Flyers spent 64 minutes in the penalty box.
A two-goal win may have been just a blip on the radar. Instead, the Penguins won so convincingly, they may have gained enough confidence to make it a series. It’s the worst defeat the Flyers have ever been handed at home in the playoffs.
“We’ve been down in this dressing room before a couple years ago,” Scott Hartnell said. “You’ve got to win one game and that’s it. You can’t win four games in one night.”