Like every other game in their seven-game series against the Rangers, the Flyers fell behind early.
But unlike their wins in Games 2 and 4, Philadelphia did not have a comeback in its back pocket in Game 5. After Sunday’s 4-2 loss, the Flyers return to Philadelphia needing to win two straight to advance to the second round.
“We lost the game in the first period, our execution in general,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “We had some opportunities two-on-one. There were plays that if we executed, we would have had success but we didn’t execute.”
Trailing 3-1 with just a few minutes left, Claude Giroux struck with his first goal in the playoffs, cutting the lead to a single goal for one fleeting moment.
But there was no miracle to be found when the Rangers found the empty net with 15 seconds left, icing the game.
“We put ourselves in that situation again,” Giroux said of playing from behind again. “We need to have a better first period and when we have chances they need to go in.”
Though the Flyers’ captain was slow to get rolling in the 2014 playoffs, his clutch goal in the waning moments of the third period Sunday gave the Flyers a chance.
“When we pull our goalie, the guys are working extremely hard — we become a dangerous team — but we can’t be relying on late comebacks. We have to make sure we are playing a full, whole game that is a lot stronger than we have been playing.”
Giroux was also dominant when the puck was dropped, winning 61 percent of his faceoff attempts. Teammate Sean Couturier won 68 percent of his.
“I don’t think it as a lack of focus or effort,” Berube said. “I thought the team competed hard. The puck wasn’t very flat today, the passing wasn’t great.”