Apr 11, 2012, 11:35 PM EDT
According to Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, one goal didn’t decide the game.
That was the message following his team’s collapse in a 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal. The Penguins blew a 3-0 lead in stunning fashion — at home, to a hated rival — and it all began rather controversially.
It was a contentious goal, but the Penguins head coach wasn’t interested in calling it a game-changer.
“In the course of a game — for the linesmen — there’s a lot of scenarios that are close to being calls either way,” Bylsma said. “I think the linesman is to wish this one was a little closer than it was, when he sees it again.
“But that’s not why we lost.”
If Bylsma wanted reasons for why his team lost, he didn’t have to look far. The Penguins had three power plays when the score was 3-0, more than enough opportunities to salt the game away.
They also allowed history to repeat itself. The Penguins lost two games to the Flyers in the stretch drive by blowing 2-0 leads and seemed to overlook the fact that Philly led the NHL during the regular season by winning three games — all on the road — after falling behind by three goals.
Game 2 goes Friday at Consol Energy Center in what will be a very nervous affair for the Penguins. While the team’s PR staff noted the winner of Game 1 in the last four series involving Penguins has gone on to lose the series, Pittsburgh has to be concerned with its inability to close out the Flyers.
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