By Tim Panaccio in PhiladelphiaThe Drop
How do you explain it?
Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette switches up his lines and moves forward Danny Briere between James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek and the three of them combine for three goals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Briere now has 49 career playoff goals and pocketed his third overtime game-winner in the 4-3 final
in which the Flyers outplayed the Devils from the second period to the finish after looking horrid at the start when they were outshot 11-0 at one point.
"That was embarrassing," sniper Claude Giroux said. "I mean, we can't come out like that. It's not acceptable. We were lucky enough to have Bryz shutting the door and he made huge stops. ... we need to get ready for Game 2.
"It's easy to say that we haven't played for a week, but at the same time we've got to be ready mentally. We had another comeback. But we've got to start having the lead and keeping it."
It was all about Briere, anyway. Actually, he had an overtime goal overturned about two minutes before his actual game-winner because he kicked the puck into the net.
"Correct call," said Laviolette.
Briere was smiling a bit on the bench watching the replay of the denied goal before coming back on the ice to get the one that counted.
"Looking at the replay I think it was a little obvious they made the right call on that," Briere said. "When I was on the bench there, you know there's a few seconds where you're shaking your head, saying they made the wrong call, and I can't believe this is happening.
"And I said all right, you've got to stop pouting now, let's get back, refocus. And I was fortunate to have another break."Briere a playoff performer
Briere is now averaging 1.01 points per game for his career in the playoffs. He has 106 points in 105 games.
"He's been doing that his whole career," Giroux said of him. "He's clutch. He's a guy we count on. And his line was unbelievable tonight - him, James and Jake, they're fast. It was pretty cool to watch them play."
Van Riemsdyk, who played sparingly in Games 5 & 6against Pittsburgh coming off a broken left foot, was terrific in this one, scoring the Flyers second goal.
"I thought that getting James back was a real positive 10 days ago in the Pittsburgh series but he hasn't had to that point, a whole lot of competition in practice," Laviolette said. "He's been out quite a big with injuries.
"The week really provided the opportunity to push him with his conditioning and pace. On-ice play just in practice. Once we got going as a group, he really factored into the game with his speed and size.
"Everybody remembers what he was able to do last year in the playoffs. After a good week of practice, we wanted to put him in position where he could be successful and he was."
And what did he think of Briere?
"I think some people rise to the big occasions. It speaks to the player, not a game," Laviolette said. "I think through the course of history in sports, there are people who
answer the bell." Controversy
Now on the game-winner, van Riemsdyk was directly in front of Devils goalie Marty Brodeur, screening him out. And more.
"Definitely, [James] van Riemsdyk pushed my stick over when he came across," Brodeur said. "He didn't do it on purpose. I think he's just going to the front of the net, and I've got my position there.
"But it prevented me from making the save, and it was so quick like that for the referees. Especially after disallowing a kick-in goal,they wouldn't do it twice in Philly, that's for sure." Stat you need to know
Briere has 13 career game-winning goals in the playoffs. Tim Panaccio reports for CSNPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @tpanotchCSN
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