Flyers comeback falls short in 4-3 OT loss

By JAY BOEHMER
Senior Hockey Insider — jboehmer@highhopesblog.com
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Tyler Ennis scored his second goal of the night in overtime to seal the Sabres' 4-3 win. (Courtesy Philly.com)

In such a critical game – more than 80 percent of Game 5 winners go on to win the series – the Flyers didn’t do themselves any favors. The Flyers spotted the Sabres a three goal lead before mounting a comeback that would ultimately fall short in overtime, a 4-3 loss.

Without the first four minutes, the Flyers were down by a pair of goals. Brian Boucher misplayed two side-angle shots and had two pucks bounce off of him and into the goal.

One missed save later, and Brian Boucher had been pulled from the net in favor of Michael Leighton.

Boucher took responsibility for his team’s loss after the game.

“I take full responsibility for it,” he said. “I put my team behind the 8-ball. It was one me. Those are goals that can’t go in.”

But Boucher hopes that he could have a chance to make up for his early exit in Game 6.

“I would very much like to redeem myself,” he said. “Like I said, it was my responsibility tonight. I take ownership in that. To put your team in a hole like that, when it’s an important game, they didn’t deserve that. I would like a second crack at it. We will see what happens.”

Despite Boucher’s early mistakes, the Flyers found a second period to their liking, dominated the play, and began to fight back with back-to-back goals by James van Riemsdyk and Andrej Meszaros.

The Flyers absolutely dominated the second period. They looked like a brand new team compared to the one that had taken to the ice in the first four games of this series.

Claude Giroux said the team simply “played the way we should be playing,” citing their hard work and will to win.

That drive carried over into the beginning of the third, when a strong forecheck by Kris Versteeg led to Danny Briere’s tying goal.

The Flyers then had to hold off a Buffalo resurgence, but had the chance to put the game away with a power play opportunity in the final minutes of regulation. They got chances, but not enough, and Miller was there to keep his team alive.

Ultimately, a Leighton rebound in overtime was picked up by Tyler Ennis and the Flyers saw this chance at a comeback slip away.

Peter Laviolette thought his team came prepared, but a few bad bounces early sealed their fate.

“They were a couple tough bounces on goal,” he said. “Then we scramble a little bit and they can turn the puck over, but I can tell you we were ready to play tonight and it was an unfortunate start and not the way we planned for.”

Laviolette remains confident in his team, despite falling behind 3-2 in the series.

Laviolette said that “at no point did I think we were going to lose the game tonight – yet we did.”

While the team’s quality play does give confidence that they can and should win these final two games, the fact that they failed to do so here and failed to do so twice before in the series in concerning.

For some reason, the Flyers continue to play well enough that they feel that should have won, but they simply don’t. Whether it’s a great outing by Ryan Miller or a few bad bounces, there’s always a reason why things “just didn’t go their way.”

Laviolette has said before that once the playoffs come, he doesn’t care about the process, only the outcome. Well right now, he may be letting himself get too comfortable with the process.

The Flyers need results.

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