[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]
Before the puck dropped to start the third period of Saturday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series between the Caps and Flyers, and with the Caps holding a slim 2-1 lead, I turned to my dad and said, "The Flyers have nothing to lose right now - all the pressure is on the Caps to hold on to this lead. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Flyers come out real loose and dominate the third."
And that, of course, is exactly what happened (everywhere but on the scoreboard, that is).
Those roles now are completely reversed - all the pressure is on the Flyers to win at home tonight. And while the Caps still have something - something big - to lose, it's not going to be the guys in white who are gripping their sticks a little tighter than usual.
Can the Flyers keep Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin - who are one-two in the playoffs in missed shots - from adjusting their sites and finding the net for a big goal (or two... or three...) in Game Six? They'd better hope so.
Can the Flyers continue to win games with production from basically one line (Philly's top line has accounted for half of their goals in the series while the Caps have gotten just 21% of their goals from their top unit)? They'd better hope so (or get some more help from a secondary source... and this is one place where the Mike Knuble injury hurts the Flyers so much).
Can the Flyers continue to win games with Martin Biron stopping less than 90% of the shots he's facing? They'd better hope so (or hope that Marty raises his game a bit).
Can the Flyers sweep all three home games in this series by winning tonight and ending the series? They'd better hope so... because they sure as hell don't want to come back to D.C. for a Game Seven.
The pressure's on, Philly. Can you feel it?