Will Game 5 be the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning for the Flyers?
Come Easter Sunday, if they can’t start figuring out goalie Ryan Miller, they could be planted for good. Or, if they can continue to apply the pressure like they did late in Game 4 and find their power play, they could be preparing for the second round.
“I’m a big believer in grabbing the energy,” said coach Peter Laviolette. “It’s got to be within the realm of discipline, but they’ll be lots of jump [Friday] night and lots of jam. We need to harness that and use it to our advantage.”
There is a third alternative. But it has never happened in their eight previous playoff meetings and only 14 times in franchise history: a decisive Game 7, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Speaking of Flyers’ history, Miller has already carved his name in the record books with two, 1-0 shutouts. One more would match Ottawa’s Patrick Lalime’s 2002 mark, who blanked the Flyers in three straight games.
But the Flyers are more worried if defensive anchor Chris Pronger is ever going to return from his fractured hand. And whether leading, goal-scorer Jeff Carter (knee) will be back for the next round.
Everything will be on the line Friday and again Sunday in Buffalo, as the Flyers try to solve Miller, who turned aside 32 shots Wednesday. If successful twice in the next three games, it’s onto the next round. If not, then it’s onto the golf course.