By the start of the third period, one could sense that the Flyers fans and maybe the Flyers themselves were already thinking ahead to game seven in Pittsburgh.
Lost in thought perhaps that by the time they noticed that the Penguins were clawing their way back into game six, it became to late.
The Penguins launched one of the great comebacks of NHL lore on Saturday, after they scored five straight goals, erasing a three goal deficit on the way to5 - 3 victory and a win in their series with their cross state rivals the Flyers.
Sidney Crosby scored two goals including the empty net marker that sealed the fate of the Flyers, though the real turning point of the game came with Maxime Talbot squaring off with the Flyers Daniel Carcillo, taking the worst of the meeting but seemingly inspired his team mates to wake up from their lethargy and begin their improbable comeback.
With the always rambunctious Flyers home crowd making their usual noise in anticipation of a game seven showdown in Pittsburgh, the Pens went about bringing silence to the Wachovia Centre as the flow of the game began to reverse itself and what seemed like a safe lead began to disappear.
As if losing the lead and the series was not enough, the quiet leadership of Sidney Crosby more than likely has caused much distress for followers of the Flyers. Crosby who no doubt no knows when he's in Philly purely by the noise, took charge of his team in the third period, controlling the ice and taking and making the hits to get the job done.
With each Penguin goal you could see the tide beginning to turn, and it quickly became much too late before the Flyers could make their changes to their plans and try to stem the onslaught from the Pens.
While the ultimate goal for the Pens is obviously the Stanley Cup Finals, there must be a rather sweet sense of satisfaction today about their ability to look defeat square in the eye and turn things around so quickly.
The Flyers may have deserved a better fate, for good portions of most of the games they seemed to be the team in control and but for a few bounces the wrong way may have already claimed the series as their own. But in the end the inability to hold a lead and to allow a team to storm back to take the series proved to be the downfall of the Flyers. When you have a team on the ropes you have to be able to finish off the job, Philly somehow lost that focus on Saturday and it cost them in a most definitive way.
Sending the Flyers off to their summer activities, probably will rank up there as a close second to a skate around the rink with Lord Stanley's Mug held high. They proved quite a bit to themselves on Saturday, that no lead is insurmountable and no venue can be intimidating.
Lessons that will come in handy as they move forward in the quest for the Stanley Cup.
Globe and Mail-- Penguins end Flyers' season
National Post-- Penguins' big comeback eliminates Flyers
Philadelphia Daily News-- Flyers' season ends with Game 6 loss
Phildaelphia Inquirer-- Flyers blow 3-0 lead, are ousted by Penguins
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Penguins turn 3-0 deficit into series clincher; catch fire after Talbot's fight
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Just call Talbot 'Rocky'
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Penguins' Locker Room: Malkin savors victory, eyes some rest
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Five-goal rally lifts Pens to next round
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Flyers ponder what might have been
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Talbot turns momentum for Penguins
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Flyers chairman likes Penguins chances