Flyers Facing Must-Win Situation in Pivotal Game 4


(Kate Frese/SB Nation)

By Matt Mastrogiovanni, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

After the disappointing outcome of Sunday's contest, the Flyers find themselves in what may be a must-win situation being down 2-1 in the series against the Penguins with potentially just one more chance at grabbing a home-ice win in the series.

Philadelphia's Game 3 defeat saw the Flyers teeter on both ends of the spectrum in terms of effort.

The Flyers came out very strong in the opening period and basically did everything except put the puck past Penguins goalie Matt Murray. Aggressive forecheck, quality scoring chances and overall sharp play contributed to overwhelming the opposition in the early stages of the match-up.

However, Pittsburgh's first goal seemed to burst the Flyers' energetic bubble. Things went flat and got worse for Philadelphia from there.

Special teams became a deciding factor in the game as Philadelphia squandered all six of their man-advantages while the Penguins capitalized on three of their seven chances. 

Ideally, for the upcoming contest, an effort similar to Game 2, which proved that the Penguins are indeed human despite their pomp and circumstance as defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, would be a welcome sight. 

That being said, Philadelphia's big guns such as Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere, Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny need to keep on ramping up their efforts. Other players like Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek have yet to really show up in the series, so now is the time.

With another shot at getting a win over the Penguins in the series on home ice, a lesson learned from a hard loss, and the overlaying adversity of a 3-1 series deficit, expect Philadelphia to give it their all in tomorrow's game. Going back to Pittsburgh with the series knotted at two games apiece would be huge for the hopes of an underdog Flyers team.

It may be necessary too. If the series goes back to Pittsburgh at 3-1 in favor of the defending champions, it may not return to Philadelphia. 

The must-win cliche gets thrown around quite a bit in sports, but it certainly applies here. This is a must-win Game 4 for the Flyers if they want any hope in a potential upset of the Penguins in the series.

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