For one game anyways Ken Hitchcock looked like a genius, choosing to start the frequently criticized Robert Esche as his goaltender in Game One. A game which must have been ended as a major confidence boost, as Esche outperformed Martin Brodeur in the 3-2 Flyer victory in Philadelphia.
Esche faced 37 Devil shots holding onto a shutout until the 4 minute mark of the third period, when the Devils managed to get two quick goals in thirty five seconds to pull within one of the Flyers. But Esche managed to compose himself after that quick burst, shutting the door for the remainder of the game, giving the Flyers a 1-0 game lead in their quarterfinal series. Giving Hitchcock to proclaim that he was the goal tender they will ride the playoffs out with
Simon Gagne, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Primeau were the goal scorers for the Flyers, Hrdina and Elias countering for the Devils. Brodeur suffered one of the few disappointing games he’s offered up recently, allowing 3 goals on 26 shots. Game Two goes Saturday once again in Philadelphia.