Flyers-Devils Game 3: Onwards and Upwards

Flyers-Devils Game 3: Onwards and Upwards

Today's game day post is a special guest edition by none other than Flyers Goal Scored By. These are his words:

Webster's Dictionary defines 'mulligan' as: "A turd of a hockey game that leaves way too many unanswered questions." The Flyers were frustratingly casual on Tuesday night, gift wrapping a winnable game for the New Jersey Devils. Instead of a comfortable two game lead, the Flyers woke up to the fact that this Devils team is good and advancing to the Eastern Conference Final will be no cake walk.

Oh how fickle playoff hockey can be.  Up 1-0, dreams of a L.A. Kings vs Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup series fluttered through our heads. Now tied 1-1, we're casting doubts on a once great powerplay and wondering where the dominating Flyers have gone. The Flyers had great success generating a forecheck against the Penguins.  Add a Marty Broduer-sized wrench (Editor's Note: That's a big wrench) in the works and you start seeing problems.  Devils are clearing their zone with ease, something that needs to change in order for Philadelphia to be successful. At this point of the series, Chooch is hitting more than Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers need their sandpaper to muck it up in front of Broduer and to get that forecheck going. You saw Simmer and Schenn doing work in the Devils zone on the Matt Read goal on Tuesday night. This is the type of Jam that Laavy likes to smother on his english muffins on Sunday mornings. Give him his jam, Flyers. Give. it. to. him.

The biggest doubt I have about this series is wether or not the Flyers can win a game where they don't have to score more than 3 goals. That may be a roundabout way of chirping Ilya Bryzgalov, but Philly's goalie wasn't the issue on Tuesday night. Bryz kept a lethargic team in the game with a lead for 2+ periods. If the Flyers can get that performance out of Bryz tonight, they'll be in good shape to grab a victory. The Bryz Cadet gets a lot of flak when he let's in a softee like Sykora's pillow in Game 1, but his control in game 2 should give Flyers fans hope of grabbing a game or two in North Jersey.

Can the Flyers play a sound enough game defensively that won't require them to *have* to put a snowman up on the scoreboard? That is looking like the question of the series.

So pay the tolls, feather your hair and acid wash those jeans, we're headed to North Jersey. The Devils already look to be a tougher opponent than the Penguins in almost every area. It's up to the coaches to adapt their gameplay and for the players to muster enough emotion to take this series back. Playoff JVR playing in his backyard? Fuggedaboutit. Bartender, first round is on us, let's giddy up and f*cking go!

Let's Go Flyers.

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.

Wade nailed a 3 from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season (see full recap).

New-look Hawks roll past Wizards
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards in their season opener Thursday night.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new center, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

But Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks, when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty scored the tiebreaking goal in Montreal's three-goal third period as the Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Thursday night for their sixth straight win.

Alex Galchenyuk and Torrey Mitchell also scored to help Montreal improve to 7-0-1. Carey Price made 29 saves to win for the fourth time in four starts this season.

Alex Killorn scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who lost against an Eastern-Conference opponent for the first time this season. Ben Bishop stopped 23 shots.

With the scored tied 1-1, Pacioretty got the go-ahead goal at 10:23 by beating Bishop glove-side. Blown coverage by the Lightning left the Canadiens' captain all alone on the edge of the face-off circle, and Bishop couldn't see the shot with Andrew Shaw posted firmly in front of goal.

Montreal remains the only NHL team still undefeated in regulation (see full recap).

Crosby's late goal gives Penguins win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored -- each getting his third of the season -- to help the Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.

Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots while starting for the eighth straight game.

Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, and Halak finished with 31 saves (see full recap).

Streaking Red Wings win marathon shootout vs. Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Henrik Zetterberg scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Zetterberg's goal gave the Red Wings a six-game winning streak.

In the shootout, St. Louis' first shooter, Alexander Steen, scored but then Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Nail Yakupoc, Robby Fabbri, Patrick Burgland and Dmitrjij Jaskin all came up short.

Gustav Nyquist scored on Detroit's second attempt but Frans Nielsen, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan and Darren Helm all missed.

St. Louis had the better chances in overtime. Center Jaden Schwartz missed a wide-open net early in the extra session. Jori Lehtera was stopped on a breakaway midway through the period by Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek (see full recap).