Prior Playoff Game Ones: 2010 ECQF v. New Jersey

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Flyers

With playoff hockey previously slated to start today, PSN has decided to take you back to when playoff hockey was fun in Philadelphia. We’re going to take you back to a couple of first-day playoff games where the Flyers came out victorious. In this article, we are going to flashback to 2010 to see how the Flyers performed on their way to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance against the Chicago Blackhawks.

1st Period

The first period had it’s fair share of chances, many belonging to the New Jersey Devils. Keep in mind, Devils great Ilya Kovalchuk was among the league’s elite scorers, and this was during his prime years.

Around 7:51 into the period, former Flyer Dainius Zubrus plays the puck behind the net. He proceeds to feed the puck to the slot. Aaron Asham gets his stick on the puck, but not enough to get possession. The puck trickles past Asham to Kovalchuk for a wide open wrister, but Brian Boucher comes up big with the stop.

The first period sees no goals, and the score remains 0-0 heading into the second period of play.

2nd Period

Not one minute into the period, Kovalchuk makes a bad mistake on the man-advantage, turning the puck over to Mike Richards. Richards pushes the puck up to Simon Gagne on the two-on-one. Gagne takes Paul Martin in towards the crease and fires a slapshot at Brodeur. Brodeur comes up big with the save, as the rebound trickles to his left and to a teammate who clears the puck. The game remains scoreless.

The Flyers were on the powerplay mid-way through the period. Giroux is playing the puck along the near boards, and passes to Richards. Richards flicks one on net, there’s a mad scramble in front of Brodeur. Chris Pronger backhands the puck off of New Jersey’s Brian Rolston, and past Brodeur’s right pad. The Flyers take the 1-0 lead at 9:25 of the second period.

The Flyers weren’t done. With around three and a half minutes left, Devils defenseman Tyler Eckford goes for the clear. Ian Laperriere was there, knocking the puck loose and heading the other way. As Laperriere bears down on Brodeur, Bryce Salvador leaves Mike Richards open to drive the slot. Lappy dishes to Richards who slaps a rocket that deflects over Brodeur’s left pad and under his glove, giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead that they will take into the third period.

3rd Period

The third period was a period of catchup for the Devils. Down 2-0 with about 14 minutes remaining, the Devils took to the powerplay, looking to cut the Flyers’ lead in half. Patrik Elias dishes to Andy Greene almost the full width of the ice. Greene gathers the puck and wrists one on Boucher. The puck deflects, bounces back to Greene after bouncing around a bit, and Greene wrists another. The pucks lodges under Boucher’s left pad as he slides back into the net. The referee immediately signals no-goal. There was no video replay, nor conclusive evidence it seems, so the score remains 2-0 Philadelphia.

With time dwindling, the Devils were starting to buzz. Zach Parise was at the bottom of the faceoff circle as he fed Andy Greene at the top. Greene turned and dished the puck to Travis Zajac at the point. Zajac wound up and fired a slapshot on Boucher. On it’s way, it deflected off Ian Laperriere who was drifting through the slot, and trickled past Boucher. The Devils cut the Flyers lead in half with two and a half remaining in the game.

Boucher weathered a late storm by the Devils, stopping multiple shots in the last 10-15 seconds of the game. The Flyers held on for the 2-1 victory, taking the 1-0 series lead on New Jersey.

What Happens Next

The Flyers would drop their next contest to the Devils, but win the next three, taking the series four games to one. The next round, they would come back from being down three games to none, and defeat the Boston Bruins four games to three. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Flyers would dominate the Montreal Canadiens and take the series four games to one.

We all know what happens after that…

Mandatory Credit – © Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

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