Who would have thought?! Just who would have the thought the Flyers, who appeared to be dead in the water before game 5, would force a game 6 at home against their interstate rivals in the Pittsburgh Penguins? But, yet here they were as the orange and black continued to fight for their playoff lives.
The proud orange clad fans came out with a force to watch their beloved Flyers fight to try to extend the series to a seventh game in Pittsburgh. Just as unpredictably, Sean Couturier would go out and make the Penguins pay for a punishing opening few few games. Maybe it was the words of a rookie sensation in Nolan Patrick that gave him the extra jump today in game 6.
“Well we had some good spurts,” Patrick exclaims after game 4. “We’d make a mistake and then it end up in our net. Obviously it’s disappointing. Nobody’s quitting in this room. We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. We know the position we’re in. We’re going to try to bounce back here.“
Patrick continues, “Obviously, you’re going against a good player. Like I said before, I just tried to play my game and not try to change anything just because of the position I was in.”
It appears Patrick’s words were still echoing throughout the locker room for game 6, as the Flyers came out with a force, and tallied the games first goal just 2:15 into the game. Michal Neuvirth was tabbed as the starter once again, and he made 20 saves in a Penguins onslaught winning game 6, 8-5. Here are three observations from the game, and the end of another season a Flyers hockey.
Is Couturier trying to be like Danny Briere, the king of playoff hockey? “Coots,” is one main reason why the Flyers were still alive in this best of seven series. He set the tone with the orange and black’s first goal just 2:15 into the first period to give the flyers a 1-0 lead. “Coots,” then went into beast mode, and scored a shorthanded goal just 40 seconds into the second period to give the Flyers a well deserved 3-2 lead.
“Coots,” has really stepped up his game this season. After setting new career highs in goals, and points, Couturier has taken his game to a new level here in the playoffs. He’s echoing his inner Danny Briere as Mr. Playoffs. Friday night he tallied the game winner on one leg for the majority of the game to force a game 6. Now in game 6 Couturier pots a hat trick. Although, this loss stings it’s still an incredible feat, and gives us something to look forward to next season. Just wow Mr. Playoffs who knows where we would be without you.
To make matters even crazier. Couturier played with a torn MCL in games 5 and 6. He is one definition of a warrior.
Hung Out To Dry
Michal Neuvirth couldn’t have been more hung out to dry until last night. As a matter of fact, a Flyers goaltender for once had absolutely no shot on seven out of the eight Pittsburgh goals scored today. The eighth being an open net.
To start the most important third period, Ivan Provorov was picked at his own blue line by Jake Guentzel. Guentzel then razzled and dazzled around Neuvirth for a 5-4 Pittsburgh lead. The next two goals were made by tic tac toe passing of the experienced Pens team past, Neuvirth for a total of seven beauties for the win. Provorov was vocal following the game:
“As long as my arm was attached to me. I was playing.”
The Fans had to be the best, and I mean the best the sixth man today, in order for the Flyers to send this series back to Pittsburgh for game 7. They came out sporting their clad gear like they always do, but the fans had to be extra good in this one. Especially with the see saw battle that ensued in the second period.
These dedicated loyal fans were loud and boisterous all day long. The building was deafening, and they really got on Penguins goaltender Matt Murray from the start. Every single last one of the 19,861 in attendance made sure the orange and black would win at least one game this series on home ice. Unfortunately, the Flyers Defense just didn’t do their part.
Thank you for phenomenal Flyers season period without your support Philly sports network wouldn’t be here today. It’s been a great run, and we can’t wait to see you back next year.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports