The play started out with a brutal turnover by first ballot douchebag Ranger Sean Avery. Jason Smith scooped in the gift and patiently looked up ice. What happened next showed some cool symmetry. Current captain Jason Smith hitting future captain Mike Richards with a pass right on his tape as he was cutting into the Rangers zone. With Marek Malik draped all over of him, Mike Richards chipped a backhand past the glove of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundquist, giving the Flyers a desperately needed 2 - 1 win in overtime.
The goal was the first OT game winner scored by Richards and possibly the most important goal he's scored to date. The win solidified the Flyers 7th place standing in the Eastern Conference, 2 points ahead of 8th place Boston (who won last night), and 4 points ahead of Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (who also won last night).
Any win against the hated Rangers is sweet; what was even more encouraging was the way the Flyers played in this game. They played a tight defensive game and gave the Rangers almost nothing. As well as Biron played, he probably should have had the one goal the Rangers did manage did get. After that goal, though, Biron battoned down the hatches and played a stellar game and the Flyers will desperately need his best game, not only down the stretch, but into the playoffs (should they make it).
Want more encouraging signs for the Orange and Black? How about the developing chemistry between Vinny Prospal and Danny Briere? The Flyers scored their first goal, mid-way through the 3rd period, on a sweet give-and-go between Prospal and Briere, where Prospal dished a no-look backhand pass to Briere, who made it count. Given Simon Gagne's now cloudy future with post-concussive syndrome, GM Paul Holmgren is going to have to think long and hard about giving Vinny Prospal a contract this summer. Prospal has shown tremendous chemistry with Danny Briere and it shows in the numbers for the last 12 or so games:
Briere (12 games): 8 G, 6 A, + 3 (Briere did miss a game with a bad shoulder)
Prospal (13 games): 3 G, 8 A, +5
With this game out of the way, the Flyers can now concentrate on the team that pretty much owned them this season; the hated New Jersey Devils. The Flyers and Devils match up this Friday night at 7pm in Newark.
Programming Note: Yeah, I know baseball starts this Monday. I got plenty of baseball stuff coming up, starting either tonite or tomorrow. The "one post per day" rule is going to have to be suspended for the next week or so.
(Picture from yahoo.com; (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images) )