Apr 29, 2012, 8:03 PM EDT
For about half of Game 1’s opening period, it seemed like the Philadelphia Flyers were sleepwalking from a week-long playoff hibernation. In that time, the New Jersey Devils generated a 1-0 lead and 11-0 shot advantage, a start that Claude Giroux called “embarrassing” and “not acceptable.”
Flyers bench boss Peter Laviolette was pleased that his team bounced back from that bumbling beginning to dominate the majority of the contest and eventually take the win.
“I’m happy to see the response from the team after the first period and in the last 45 minutes of play,” Laviolette said.
Game 1 revealed both sides of the long layoff vs. short rest coin. The Flyers seemed to hit the snooze button a couple extra times but an aging Devils team might have shown some fatigue from going into double OT in a Game 7 on Thursday. New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer didn’t use that as an excuse, but he admitted that the Devils couldn’t keep up the momentum of a good start, according to Tom Gulitti.
“We couldn’t sustain what we did in the first period,” DeBoer said. “They took the game over in the second half and when you’re just hanging on, that’s what happens.”
Ilya Kovalchuk was the scapegoat in many peoples’ eyes, even if defensemen such as Marek Zidlicky and Peter Harrold had blunders of their own. Kovalchuk seemed to sum up the way things went for the Devils, whether he held some of the blame or not.
“We kind of just started sitting back and you can’t do that against this team,” Kovalchuk said.
That’s certainly true. It seems like coming back from an early deficit is becoming the Flyers’ natural habitat.
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 36
- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 7
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 13
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 30
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 46
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 21
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (46)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame (38)