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Game 4 Fallout: As series shifts back to Pittsburgh, focus is back on the goaltending for both teams

GAME 4 FALLOUT

“Embarrassed” had been a common word surrounding the Penguins through the first three games of the series. Following Game 4, it was a word coming out of the Flyers locker room following the Penguins 10-3 rout on the Flyers home ice to force a Game 5.
“Lost 10-3 in front of our fans and obviously we’re embarrassed, ” Flyers center Claude Giroux said afterwards. “ Our fans didn’t deserve that and I’ll tell you one thing, it’s not going to happen again!”.
“It is embarrassing, Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said.
For the Flyers though when you’re up 3-0, you can have a let down game.
“Yeah we gave them a little life but at the same time we’re still up 3-1 and we’re aware of that and we just need to shut the door down in Pittsburgh and we’ve been successful in Pittsburgh, ” Giroux said.
Sidney Crosby felt afterwards that the Penguins owed it to themselves to play a full game.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance to get back to Pittsburgh, ” Crosby said. “And that’s all we wanted out of this game. We did better job of keeping puck out of the net. We played a full game and gave ourselves a chance tonight. We wanted to play a full game and we felt we owed that to our selves after the first three. “It doesn’t get any easier from here, ” Crosby said.
“They’re not going to just give up,” winger Jaromir Jagr said. “They’re too good. They’ve won the Stanley Cup.”
The two big storylines coming out the win for Pittsburgh was that Evegeni Malkin broke out with a two goal game, scoring a crucial goal late in the first period that changed momentum and most importantly Marc Andre Fleury showing signs of finding his game in the final forty minutes of the action.
With no margin for error, the series now shifts on the shoulders of Fleury who has given up 20 goals in the series, posting a 5.43 goals against average and .817 save percentage.
“We’ve been really bad for Fleury {in the series} and he’s an easy target. Think the shots we gave up, we gave him better chances to make saves, ” defenseman Brooks Orpik said on the Penguins defensive play Wednesday night.

Looking back, the turning point for Fleury in the series might end up being a pad save on Claude Giroux in the second period showing great side to side lateral movement which is the type of save that normally gets him going. “We got a lot of big saves at key times, and we were able to turn it the other way, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said, something that rarely happened in the first three games.
There’s no question, Pittsburgh’s daunting task of winning three more games is going to be on the strength of Marc Andre Fleury.
As bad as Fleury’s been in the series, Philadelphia’s goaltending situation is extremely fragile and momentum seems to be shifting in Fleury’s favor of being the one who might find his game. If the Marc Andre Fleury of February and March shows up, then the Penguins have a chance to make things very interesting.
Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky had identical numbers in the loss, each making 13 saves on 18 shots. Bryzgalov 3-1 in the series, has a 4.96 goals against average and .844 save percentage.
“At that point, Bryz needed to come out,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said on pulling Bryzgalov in the second period. “Generally speaking, we all need to be better at what we do. But he needed to come out of that situation. So, I changed it up, tried to shake the tree a little bit.”
Laviolette will be going back to Bryzgalov in Game 5.
“We not play to lose, ” Bryzgalov said. “They forced us to make the mistakes. It’s good for them, good credit.
“We’re going to find out what kind of team we are, how we are built,” Jagr said. “If we are the team like we think we are, we’re going to respond the next game, ” he said.
All eyes in Game 5 will now be on the goaltending and whether momentum in that direction will begin to actually shift in Pittsburgh’s direction as it did in Game 4.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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