Like any other game, according to Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers goalie stepped out onto the ice and took warm-ups. He stretched. He faced shots and he played a game.
Claude Giroux's story is a little different.
"It's weird to say, but in the warmup we kinda know if he's gonna have a good game," Giroux said of his goaltender. "He was ready to go. He was our best player on the ice tonight. He gave us a chance to win."
Bryzgalov wasn't flashy. He wasn't brilliant. But he was solid and quietly made 30 saves. That's all the Flyers needed.
In one of what could have been two games remaining in the series, the Flyers needed Bryzgalov to outplay Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins' goalkeeper threw up a flag whiter than his pads and jersey just 32 seconds into the game.
Giroux set the tone with a punishing hit on Sidney Crosby six seconds into the contest just outside the Penguins' blue line and followed it up with a goal 32 seconds in from the left circle that Fleury clearly saw.
The bar was set for goaltending, and Bryzgalov played accordingly.
"Bryz was simply amazing," Flyers center Danny Briere said. "He was focused from the start. Looking at him in the room, his preparation, you could tell he was in the zone. There was something special in his eyes. To see him play, he was composed, he was sure of himself. It's fun to see him that way."
There were no flashy glove saves like he had on Penguins All-Star defenseman Kris Letang in Game 2, yet Bryzgalov saw the puck while acting incredibly calm. You could almost hear the Russian trance music they used in "247" while the Flyers' goalie worked.
That said, Bryzgalov did have help. The Flyers defense, undermanned without Nick Grossmann, still helped out immensely, blocking a season-high 40 shots to the Penguins' 14.
"If you want to win, you've got to sacrifice yourself -- blocking shots, block the passing lanes, whatever's necessary," Bryzgalov said. "Diving with your face to protect your net, that's how you win the game when two even teams play against each other."
A veteran of 79 playoff games, All-Star left wing Scott Hartnell asked for that sacrifice after the Flyers' 3-2 loss in Game 5, and his teammates obliged.
"I'm proud of how everybody responded," Flyers center Danny Briere said. "I know we have a lot of veterans, but for such a young team to respond the way we did after the pressure was building up ... So many guys sacrificed their bodies, blocking shots, taking hits, not retaliating. I'll remember this series for a long, long time."
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette loved the effort.
"You look at the sheet, and at the end of the night, when you see 40 blocked shots, you know that there's a team that's committed to something, that wants to get to the next round," the coach said. "They're phenomenal with what they did. Defensively, we did what we needed to do."
The rest was taken care of between the pipes. The most notable save Bryzgalov made was in the second period when he stopped NHL scoring champion Evgeni Malkin, as a Penguins power play was expiring. It quelled the threat of a comeback both quietly and forcefully.
"Bryz was phenomenal," Laviolette said. "That's a talented group over there. They move the puck extremely well and there are going to be chances and there are going to be opportunities. Bryz was dialed in. He played a phenomenal game for us. When you have a game like we did in Game 4, you reel it back in a little bit. That checks you right there."
The 30-save performance is one the Flyers were looking for when they signed him to a nine-year, 51-million deal in the offseason, but that doesn't mean it was easy. It was so taxing that halfway through answering a question in his post-game news conference, the goalie finally admitted fatigue.
"Sorry, I'm tired," the goalie said. "I forget your question. I don't know. I just want to sleep. Because it's a 12 o'clock in the morning game, I woke up too early."
At the start of the series, Bryzgalov admitted he was afraid only of "bears in the forest." Well now he can hibernate, at least for a few days.
The Flyers are the first team in the Eastern Conference to advance, so now they'll wait to see who their second-round opponent will be. If they're to advance again, they'll need another dialed-in performance from Bryzgalov.
"We're going to live and die by Bryz, and if he plays like he did tonight in this next round, we're going to keep moving on," Hartnell said.
E-mail Dave Isaac at email@example.com