PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers certainly looked better than they did at just about any point in the Games 2, 3 or 4 in the first period of a do-or-die Game 5, but an unbelievable miscue by goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is the difference in the game after 20 minutes.
The Devils lead 3-2 thanks to a flubbed clearing attempt by Bryzgalov, who played a puck right into the stick of a forechecking David Clarkson. It came back through the goaie and into the back of the net.
It's hard to win when your goalie is essentially scoring goals on himself as Bryzgalov did there. Up until that point, the Flyers had really done a solid job in executing their game plan -- at least as compared to previous games. New Jersey's first goal, a Bryce Salvador tally at 9:27 which tied the score at 1-1, was a perimeter shot which deflected off a failed Wayne Simmonds block attempt. A tough one to take, for sure.
They were able to generate zone time and the hard-checking of Zac Rinaldo noticeably shook the Devils up for at least a shift, but New Jersey still seems to be winning the neutral zone.
The Devils have forced turnovers at the opposing blue line and all all points in the middle of the ice as the Flyers have been sloppy with the puck in those areas, but their forecheck hasn't been nearly as dominant as in recent games and the Flyers have been able to get in on the puck a bit more in their own right.
Philly has nothing to show for the better period, but ... well, progress is progress.