Sunday, April 13, 2008

Biron brings the Flyers back

Washington discovered the full Philly sandwich on Sunday afternoon, as a smothering Philadelphia defence combined with solid goal tending from Martin Biron, brought the Eastern conference quarterfinal series to a 1 – 1 tie and on the way to Philadelphia.

The Flyers were quick to the corners and played their traditional physical game, though avoiding the costly penalties that can ruin a series.

For the first time in series they were able to hold onto a lead and not let the wave of youthful exuberance that is Washington’s trademark these days, rattle them and take charge of the game.

Instead, the Flyers finished off much of what they started in game one, and ability to shut down the engine of the Caps Alexander Ovechkin, while at the same time saving some of their cloak for defenceman Mike Green, who had proven to be a problem on Friday, but wasn’t as much of a threat on Sunday.

Most importantly for the Flyers however was the standout goal tending from Martin Biron, who when finally given the chance and a bit of defensive assistance showed some of the moves that Paul Holmgren saw before the trade of last year with Buffalo.

Biron denied the Caps what few opportunities that they had, most of which came from the peripheral area of the offensive zone. His cause was aided by some scoring from the secondary lines, which have picked up the slack from the first line which has had troubles getting untracked thus far in the series. Game on wasn’t one of his better efforts, but his performance in Game Two was a better barometer of his potential for the team’s playoff hopes.

He first however will have to take care of some personal business before game three, like Roberto Luongo a few weeks ago, Biron is about to become a daddy, this will be his third trip to the maternity ward, with Mama set for an early wake up call on Monday morning, leaving Papa Biron plenty of time to lay in the stogies for game three.

While the goal tending was essential to the victory, key to the win however was the ability of the Flyers to play a full sixty minute game, unlike Friday where the third period was turned over to the Capitals with the expected results coming to pass.

For the Caps, finding a way to create some space for Ovechkin is going to be an important aspect of their attack. Frustrated throughout the game, the Russian developed a few bad on ice habits, staying on the ice longer than a usual shift, in a bid to try and create some offence, but instead it just seemed to detract from the flow of his game at times.

Washington may also wish to try and reduce the Flyers scoring chances, they spent far too much time standing around watching the Flyers pepper shots at Cristobal Huet on Sunday, a breakdown that won’t be the path to advancement should it continue.

National Post-- Biron stellar as Flyers pull even with Capitals
CBC Sports-- Biron comes up big for Flyers in Game 2
Washington Times-- Flyers finish the job to tie series
Washington Times-- No success on power play in Game 2
Washington Post-- On Biron's To-Do List: Shutout and A Childbirth
USA Today-- 'Dangerous' Green draws Philly focus
Associated Press-- Biron shuts out Capitals to even series
. Stats Pack

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