*Reactions from Bylsma, Laviolette, Jagr, Crosby, Fleury, Adams*
You won’t find Dan Bylsma believing the Danny Briere breakaway second period goal that was clearly off-side, is the reason the Penguins lost game 1, suffering a 4-3 overtime defeat.
“That’s not why we lost the game, ” Bylsma said. Why the Penguins lost the game was because they once again got away from their game and the same defensive issues that have plagued them for weeks showed up tonight.
“The second half of the game we didn’t get to our game as much as we needed to, Bylsma said. “Last two periods was too much back and forth and us not really managing the puck in the neutral zone the way we need to, ” he said.
Head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t come off as surprised that his hockey club appeared to be a bit rattled in the first period. Going into period 2, Laviolette stressed to his team that they have to establish the certain identity they are as a hockey club.
“I think just more addressing a realization for them that they know how to play and we didn’t do that, ” Laviolette said on addressing his team after first period. “We’ve said it before we have a certain identity we find success with, we know we can score goals, we know win hockey games playing a certain style and certain brand. In first period we did too much standing, too much watching, and we became targets to hit and we just didn’t move well enough. I thought we got better in the second period but still not to level we were satisfied with, and in the third period I really thought we started to play good hockey and felt good about overtime coming up.
“I don’t know if that’s to be expected with this group just based on fact this is loud building, just a completely different environment from anything we’ve been use to all year. We have not seen that type of energy.”
The Flyers have continuously showed the ability to come back this season and it didn’t come as a surpriseÂ to Bylsma or veteran Penguins winger Craig Adams.
“They come back, which is what they’ve done, ” Bylsma said. They’re a good team and they don’t stop.”
“It’s not a shock, ” Adams said.
“They’ve done it against us a couple times. They’re not going to quit and we knew that, ” he said.
Sidney Crosby had a strong game offensively leading a three goal first period for the team, collecing a goal and an assist in the loss.
“We got away from our game, ” Crosby said. “That’s what it really was. Think we started great, had a lot of energy, went hard at them but slowly got away from things. Gotta fix things we need to fix here.”
Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury was okay in the loss, making 22 saves on 26 shots. He came up with big saves early in the gameÂ but gave up some suspect goals and didn’t make that “big save” late in the game that he made early on when Pittsburgh had control of the game.
“It’s rough, ” Fleury said on the loss. “We were up by three, came out way we wanted to, definitely a tough one tonight but that’s why it’s best of seven, so a lot of time, lot games to be played.”
Jakub Voracek was the hero tonight but the star for Philadelphia was Danny Briere who scored twice and now has 98 points in 98 career playoff games. “He’s [Briere} done it so many times in the playoffs that I don’t think anyone should be surprised what he did tonight, ” Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said.
Laviolette told his hockey club after the first period that they had “nothing to lose” in the second, third period and the Flyers played like it. “We had nothing to lose and that’s what coach said ” winger Jaromir Jagr said. “We didn’t play well in the 1st period and had nothing to lose in the 2nd and 3rd period, ” Jagr said on the Flyers mindset.
Aside from the Penguins poor puck management and defensive woes, a top storyline onÂ the off-dayÂ will be the Penguins unable to put the Flyers away on the power play.
The Penguins were 0-for-3 and rarely a threat. “I think we didn’t do much of a power play in zone and didn’t have much in zone time, ” Bylsma said. “It was more off the rush and we didn’t have the opportunity in the zone like we wanted to and i think that was a factor in all three power plays, ” Bylsma said, who’s hockey teamÂ spent a long portion on the power play in yesterday’s practice.
Heading into Game 2, the Flyers are beaming with confidence. “What we did today was unbelievable, ” goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said.