Flyers take command of series with 4-1 beatdown of Devils, Carter and Gagne hurt


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Win, but at what cost? 

 Both Simon Gagne and Carter were injured during the course of the Flyers 4-1 win. Gagne suffered a fractured toe after being struck with the puck twice in the second period. GM Paul Holmgren stated Wednesday morning that both Carter and Gagne will not be available for Thurs game 5 in New Jersey. Carter when he was hit by a blast from the point by Chris Pronger, in which he knocked the rebound in for his second goal of the game.

“Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne suffered injuries to their right foot in Tuesday night’s game. Neither will be available to play Thursday, and both players are listed as day-to-day,” stated GM Holmgren.

The W

One of the main goals the Flyers had for game 4 was to limit the amount of penalties taken after having happy whistles from Sunday’s game call nine infractions against them. Unfortunately, the Flyers once again lived in the box last night. But still came away with a resounding 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils to take a 3-1 series lead  back to Newark. 

Coach Peter Laviolette sounds like he is beginning to believe that this is the way the Flyers are going to win. Get in the box, kill the penalty, and score timely goals to wear down the Devils. Although it’s happening to both sides. The happy whistle refs are making questionable calls on both sides. 

“We’re living on the edge, but so are they,” Laviolette said. “The way they’re calling the game right now, I don’t know. I’d rather play five-on-five hockey. This is what we have to do and we did it. I thought our penalty kill did a pretty good job again.” 

Jeff Carter and Danny Briere played lead catalysts in last night’s win. Carter, who hasn’t touched the back of the net since returning from a broken foot, scored twice while Briere registered his first points of the series with a goal and two helpers.Dan Carcillo beat Martin Brodeur once again for is second goal of the series. 

With the win, the Flyers find themselves in a very similar position from 10 years ago. Back in 2000, the Flyers with a hot rookie goaltender by the name of Brian Boucher lost to the Devils in the Eastern Conference finals in seven games after leading the series 3-1. Boucher stood tall between the pipes last night stopping 30 shots. ‘Boosh’ looks to gain more and more confidence every game no matter how high the stakes get. 

The Devils rallied and won the series in what is now known as the final series of the Eric Lindros era. A decade later; however, Boucher is back in the net in the very same position and is determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. 

“They always say that the last win, the fourth win, is always the toughest to get,” Briere said after the 4-1 defeat of New Jersey. “We know it’s not going to be easy in their building and they’re going to come out pretty desperate on Thursday. We have to find a way to match up that intensity without getting into penalty trouble. The last few games, I thought 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job not giving up much and creating chances. So if we’re able to keep the 5-on-5, our chances will be a lot better.” 

Philadelphia is 17-2 all-time when leading 3-1 in a series . New Jersey owns a 1-7 mark when trailing 3-1. Since beating the Flyers in 2000 on the way to the Stanley Cup, the Devils have been down 3-1 four times, including in the 2004 conference quarterfinals against the Flyers, and failed to get as far as the sixth game. (Per 

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The Flyers can close this series out Thursday night in Newark, but realistically have to stop committing careless penalties. Players like Mike Richards, Pronger, and Kimmo Timonen are playing big minutes and a lot of those have been on the penalty kill. The Flyers killed off 7-of-8 Devils power plays while going 2-for-8 themselves on the man advantage. 

“We have to find a way to match up that intensity without getting into penalty trouble,” Briere said. “The last few games, I thought five-on-five we’re doing a really good job not giving up much and creating chances. So if we’re able to keep the five-on-five, our chances will be a lot better.” 

“We talked about it since Day 1 of the series about being smarter and we just don’t it,” said Ian Laperriere. “It didn’t burn us tonight but it could have easily in this or the last game. We’re gonna kill emotional and good penalties that you need to take. But we got to cut down on the unnecessary ones.” 

The glory out of all this for the Flyers is the they won both games at home, which is huge in playoff series. To take both games on home-ice is a big momentum boost for a team like Philadelphia. New Jersey are 1-7 when trailing 3-1 in a series now have fight for their lives from their home building. 

Ilya Kovalchuk or ‘Kovalchoke’ like some signs said in the Wachovia Center crowd, finally hit the scoreboard with a first period power play goal. His blistering wrister beat Boucher over his right shoulder.

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