Game 1 – a tight defensive struggle where one chance made the difference. Game 2 – a wide open, high-scoring, penalty-filled extravaganza.
The first period saw the Flyers and Sabres trade goals – combining for six over a nine minute stretch.
In addition to the sudden rush of goals, the two teams saw a constant parade to the penalty box.
Danny Briere got into it with Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta, while Scott Hartnell dropped the gloves with Gaustad.
After that, nearly every whistle led to a string of pushing and shoving, with power plays going both ways.
Sean O’Donnell said that the period was getting out of hand.
“It was a little big of a chaotic first period, there,” he said. “We had some nice plays and it seemed like we worked hard for ours and then we got ourselves behind the eight ball a little bit with some penalties and some bad pinches.
“But he rebounded and settled down after the first – I thought we played a good last 40 minutes.”
In the second, the scoring settled down a bit, but the penalties continued uninterrupted, with the Flyers spending nearly half the period on the man advantage.
James van Riemsdyk, who had another terrific game, was impressed with his team’s play in such a strange game.
“It was out of control,” he said. “It seemed like in the second period there we had a lot of power plays and to start off the third they had a lot. You’ve got to be ready for anything. These kind of games anything can happen and I think we responded pretty well.”
The Flyers are 18-3 in their history when leading 2-1 after Game 3, but are only 7-19 when trailing 2-1.
Peter Laviolette knows that whatever happens in Game 3, Buffalo is going to put forth their best effort in that pivotal, series-changing game.
“I don’t really know if you know what you’re getting game to game,” he said. “I know that Buffalo will compete hard in the third game. Our guys are going to go our there, compete hard, and they are going to make us play the game and someone is going to win it.”