It was an all too familiar sight.
A two-goal lead late in the third period at Wells Fargo Center.
A four-minute blown power play, followed by a blown lead and tie game.
Just as head coach Peter Laviolette was going to explode on the bench, Claude Giroux took matters into his own.
The person I heard most on the bench, moving up and down the outside was Giroux, Laviolette recalled. Saying, Its not going to happen again. Its good when you hear young players jumping in like that. It was a tough turn of events.
Except this time, the Flyers didnt fold.
Instead, their young players took charge and rescued a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on the strength of James van Riemsdyks game-winner with 32.8 seconds left.
The much-maligned JVR, who has been bothered by a nagging injury all season, scored twice to make a difference.
Make a difference? Its something JVR hasnt done most of this campaign.
Its exciting to contribute bounces havent necessarily gone my way most of the year, he said.
Scott Hartnell had the puck in the left slot and threw it across for JVR to bang it past former Flyer goalie Ray Emery.
I was yelling for G Giroux and he made the better play to get it to Hartsy and Hartsy put it right on my tape to slide it into the net, JVR said.
Were up two goals in the third and that should never be a chance to get back into the game but we let them back in.
JVR played with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. This is a new line for him.
I dont think Ive felt this comfortable and confident on the ice as I have at points last year, van Riemsdyk said. Im still working towards that for whatever reason. We had good chemistry tonight and it made it fun out there.
He might have found a line now he can thrive with, as well.
JVR was good, it was his best game, Laviolette said. I liked that he was skating to be physical. He banged bodies out there.
I always think that if you want to get yourself in the game get your feet moving and go bang somebody because that always puts you around the puck. You cant hit people without the puck.
You start moving your feet and looking for targets, all of the sudden you find yourself in the game on the puck around the play and he got going.
The Flyers should have tucked it away, leading 4-2 midway into the final period and with a four-minute power play to ice it.
Instead, Hartnell dinged the post as that power play expired. Brent Seabrook came roaring up ice and beat the Bryzard of Oz for one goal at 14:15. Then, horrors, Patrick Kane, who got the decisive Game 6 Stanley Cup clincher in overtime in this building, had an open shot in the slot 25 seconds later to tie it.
So open was Kane that Braydon Coburn smashed his stick on the post in disgust. Still, they survived.
Its been tough sledding at home, Hartnell said. Were always playing from behind, and today we give up two late goals with a two-goal lead.
Little frustrating, but Lavy brought it to our attention a few days ago weve got to play great in front of these fans and get them behind us to get a big win today, we have to keep this going.
A 21-shot blitz in the second period saw the Flyers steal the games momentum. The Blackhawks stole it back in a frantic sprint in the final period with the kind of end-to-end skating off transition without a whistle you dont often see.
That was a fast game, Laviolette said. Our energy was high and our execution was good and I thought they were both on target ...
The game was so fast, there were times it turned over on one shift three times, it went offense-defense-offense. It was lightning.
The really bad news is the Flyers lost defenseman Kimmo Timonen with an upper body injury. Timonen was seen wearing a soft brace on his left wrist after the game. He will be re-evaluated on Friday.
Bryzgalov, who has not a very good last couple outings, gave up a deflected goal on Chicagos second shot of the game, settled in, and then seemed rattled at the end.
Bryzgalov did not meet with reporters after the game because, as general manager Paul Holmgren said, he was sick.
Maybe because of the odd goals again, both ways. After Jamal Mayers made it 1-0 off a deflection, Jakub Voracek tied it in the final minute of the opening period off what appeared to be a set play as Coburn fired a puck wide of the net off the back boards.
Not a set play, Voracek said. Just happened. Its hard to find a dead spot behind the net where you get the bounce back. I was lucky it bounced back to me with an empty net.
Andrew Shaw regained the lead for the Blackhawks, coming out of the corner with the puck and backhanding it high on Bryzgalov in the second period, making it 2-1.
Then, the Flyers exploded for three goals in 4:20 to recapture the momentum, while Timonen quietly left the ice for good.
First, Hartnell chopped downward on a Giroux pass from behind the net to tie it at 7:54.
It's always great to have a good shift after an opponent scores a goal to try
and get the momentum back, Hartnell said.
Matt Read made a nice play to Giroux. I was popping up in the slot. The puck kind of got deflected and was up in the air and I whacked it out of the air and was able to go five hole.
Then, rookie Harry Zolnierczyk, charging the net, got a rebound off Sean Couturiers angled shot on Emery to make it, 3-2. That goal broke a seven-game pointless slide for Harry Z.
With the Hawks stunned, ailing JVR, whose last goal was Dec. 23 against the Rangers the only marker he had last month got a soft rebound at 12:14 off Simmonds shot, giving the Flyers a comfortable 4-2 lead.
Until the third period, anyway.
I think when you play with two guys like that, we meshed out there and we really had instant chemistry, JVR said.
Sometimes you can feel that out there and it feels pretty good when it happens. Now, we just have to keep getting better with it.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org.