Mr Playoffs Danny Briere Strikes Twice as the Flyers Take Game One in Overtime

By Johnny Machurek

The Philadelphia Flyers came out very rusty, playing their first game since they eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins last Sunday.  The win yesterday over the New Jersey Devils was a lot close than than last Sunday’s contest.

Philadelphia as usual fell behind in the first when Zach Parise scored 3:16.  If it was not for the play of Ilya Bryzgalov in the first period, the Devils could have easily ran away with the game in the first.  New Jersey had the first 11-shots in the game and Bryz only allowed one-goal.

In the second period Philly notched two-goals in the span of less than 40-seconds.  Danny Briere struck first on a beautiful breakaway goal at 8:07 into the second.  Then at 8:44 James van Riemsdyk scored on a snap-shot to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.  “Nobody liked the first period. The players didn’t like it. I didn’t like it. No one liked it,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “So, it was good to get through the first period, only down 1-0. And then for me, it started in the second period. We had the fire it took to be successful.”

Travis Zajac would tie it at two in the second.  The two team would trade goals in the third as Claude Giroux scored his seventh of the playoffs and Petr Sykora scored his first.  Bryzgalov who played great in the first struggled later on, as the Zajac and Sykora goals were both softies.

In overtime Briere scored, but it was determined that he kicked the puck in.  “When you look at the replay, it’s kind of obvious,” Briere said of the reversal. “But I needed to stop pouting and get back my focus in overtime. I ended up getting a break.”

Danny B then buried a slapper from the point that beat Martin Brodeur, who was screened by JVR.  There was no need for a review here, the Flyers took game-one 4-3 in OT.  Here is a video clip of the goal, showing why fans around here refer to him as Mr. Playoffs:

“He has his ups and downs, but he just picks it up in the playoffs. And that’s what matters,”  Laviolette said about Briere. “He’s a guy who consistently gets it done.”

“Is it pressure? I think it’s fun,” Briere said of playoff hockey. “When I have the opportunity, like I’ve had the past few years here, I try to take advantage of the opportunities.”

Lavy was excited about the win, here is a clip of his celebration:

Game two comes at you tomorrow night the Flyers will try to get a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

Follow Johnny on Twitter @JohnnyMacNHL.

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