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Playoff oddity: Flyers struggle when scoring first

May 3, 2012, 11:21 PM EDT

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 03: Brayden Schenn #10 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates after scoring a goal against Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils in the first period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on May 3, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Getty Images

People like a good comeback, but Flyers’ fans would probably appreciate it if their team could hold onto a 1-0 lead sometimes too. Philadelphia has a 4-0 record in the playoffs when their opponent scores first, but they’re just 1-4 in games were they’ve taken a 1-0 lead.

Wednesday’s contest was another example of that anomaly. Brayden Schenn scored the opening goal for the Philadelphia Flyers, but Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk both found the back of the net to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission. The Flyers managed to send the game to overtime, but they never retook the lead.

The only other teams that have won just two or fewer games after scoring first have been eliminated from the playoffs. The flip side is that no squad has successfully overcome more 1-0 deficits.

Of course this is a relatively isolated statistic. It’s not that the Flyers are incapable of holding onto a lead in general – although they certainly could use a bit of work in that department too. They have a 2-2 record when leading after one period and a 2-1 record when leading after 40 minutes.

Really, it’s probably more of a product of a small sample size than a genuine area of concern, but the Flyers scoring first is starting to turn into a bad omen.

  1. barkar942 - May 4, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Perhaps the Flyers should start the game without Bryz in net and let the Devils get an empty netter first, then put Bryz back in and see if they can come back and win?

  2. tackledummy1505 - May 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Can we complain about the refs just like Marty? The interference and holding calls were mainly made into what they are today because of the Devils trap. So after game 1 Marty cried and complained that his girlie part was being unfairly touched. Ever since then I’ve seen the Devils run a perfect trap. Where 2 Devil players hold or interfere with our pressuring players, while the 3rd Devil grabs the puck. Last time I checked, if you were not in or near the puck of play, you couldn’t be interfered with. Yet every play I see Devil players locking up our guys away from the puck. Can a team get a slashing call as well. Last night wasn’t too bad but game 2 was horrible. But hey I can’t blame the Devils cause if its not going to be called then it’s a good play. Still this is why Devil hockey is so boring and is so bad. It’s probably why nobody goes to their games. Only NHL team to not sell out a Stanley Cup game. So let’s go NHL lets play hockey and stop all this crap hockey of clutching and grabbing. It’s like watching an MMA fight with no punching. Yawn…..

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