Collapse! Flyers blow three-goal lead to end season

At one point in the contest, the Flyers were booking their flight to Pittsburgh for game seven.  But with four unanswered goals and more power play impotency from Philly, the Flyers dropped the game in front of a national audience, ending their season in devastating fashion, while the Penguins advance to face the winner of New Jersey – Carolina.

Down three games to one in the series, the Flyers battled back to force a game six at home.  And all appeared well after goals from Danny Briere, Joffrey Lupul and Mike Knuble rocketed the Flyers to a 3-0 lead.  But like a microcosm of the season as a whole, the Flyers showed inconsistency offensively and got sub-par goaltending to waste the game.

Early in the second period, Ruslan Fedotenko scored a garbage goal in front to get the Pens on the board at 3-1 and get the team moving.  Shortly after, Pittsburgh defenseman Mark Eaton tapped in a rebound in mid air past Marty Biron to cut the lead to 3-2.  On a similar play, just minutes later, Sidney Crosby smashed in another mid air rebound by Biron, to lock the score at three.

Stunned and bewildered, the Flyers came out in the third period with no momentum.  And the Penguins countered.  Sergei Gonchar took a drop pass from Evgeni Malkin at the blue line.  The potent blue liner set up and ripped a slap shot past Biron, low stick side, giving the Pens the 4-3 lead.  Biron had no screen on the play.

The Flyers did everything they could to lock the game back up, but it wasn’t enough to beat Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 22 saves and was clutch late in the game.

Mike Knuble, Marty Biron, Antero Niittymaki and Andrew Alberts are all pending UFA.

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Stanley Cup Playoffs

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