By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After Wednesday night’s thrilling, come-from-behind, 4-3, overtime win in Pittsburgh in Game #1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, the Flyers are now preparing for Game #2 Friday night in the Steel City.
Defenseman Matt Carle helped cap the improbable comeback, picking up an assist on Jakub Voracek’s game-winner 2:23 into the extra session. Today, Carle called in to KYW Newsradio and talked about that final Flyers push at the Penguins net.
“I think Jake tried to pass in front to Reader (Matt Read) and it kind of hopped over his stick and so I was able to get a step on their forward and pinch down the wall a little bit. In overtime, we talked about in the locker room before, it’s never a bad play to just put the puck on net and see what happens. Most of the time it’s not going to be a pretty goal that wins it and certainly I didn’t really get a heavy shot or anything on net, it was just kind of throwing it towards there and we got a good bounce off their defenseman’s stick and happened to go right to Jake.”
Now, almost lost in the excitement of last night’s comeback, is the fact that the comeback was necessary. Continuing what has been a disturbing trend for this group, they got off to a slow start and found themselves in that 3-0 hole after one period. Carle says they are well aware of their struggles at the start of games.
“I don’t know what it is, to put a finger on why we get off to bad starts. We’ve tried all different types of things with our pregame warm-ups and just trying to change things up to see if something will work and nothing really seems to have really clicked for us yet. But we’re still finding a way to win hockey games and that’s the important thing.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Matt Carle:
So what changed after the first twenty minutes for the Flyers in the opener?
“I think we just skated,” Carle says. “We were playing our game and being aggressive.”
These two teams are obviously very familiar with each other, so Carle says there are no secrets as the series grinds on.
“I think the biggest thing comes down to execution and your will to win. Throughout the second half of that game I think ours was a little bit greater and its going to need to be throughout the course of this series to be able to eliminate these guys.”
The Flyers are now 6-1 in the Penguins’ new arena. Is that success on the Penguins home ice a mental advantage for the Flyers?
“I don’t know,” Carle says. “It’s one of those things that media and people like to talk about it outside of the game. You do have a little bit of confidence walking into that building knowing you can win games in there, but each game is different so I don’t think there is too much to read into it and hopefully we’re going to try to get another win in there tomorrow.”
Flyers and Penguins will face-off in Game #2 at 7:30pm in Pittsburgh on Friday night. The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game #3 on Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm.
KYW’s Matt Leon and CSNphilly.com’s Sarah Baicker preview tonight’s game in this CBS Philly Sportspod…