As the seconds ticked off the clock in the second period, the Flyers trailed 3-1 to the Penguins in Game 1.
It was a seemingly insurmountable deficit with the way Pittsburgh controlled the play through the first two periods with their physical bullying style of play.
The Flyers needed someone to step up and stand up to the bull and Brayden Schenn did just that, both metaphorically and literally.
Schenn was charged by Penguins forward Craig Adams with only seconds remaining on the clock. Schenn turned around and absorbed all of the hit, knocking Adams on his rear-end as Schenn stood over him and smiled.
Schenn then got in the face of Adams, goading a shove to the face that wasn’t called and skated away with a smirk on his face after the referees separated the two.
That could have been the turning point for the Flyers, who came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime.
Hard hitting, desperation saves and a little bit of extra-curricular activities sprinkled in.
Perhaps, it was a look at what the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals has in store for the Flyers and Penguins. 60 minutes of full throttle hockey with the addition of the playoffs, and the hockey world will be in store for another classic Flyers/Penguins series.
Sunday afternoon's battle - as well as one more game next Saturday afternoon to finish the season - was a preview of the almost inevitable 4/5-seed match up between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
First comes a playoff spot and then comes the top spot in the division.
It’s a stretch, but that’s what the Philadelphia Flyers (45-24-8) will keep working towards as they face the Ottawa Senators (39-28-10) on Saturday afternoon.
After a 7-1 beatdown of the despondent Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, the Flyers will look to make it two wins in a row against Ottawa. The Senators will aim to continue a streak of their own, as they’ve won two straight.
In the three games between the two teams this season, the Flyers have won twice. The Senators won the last meeting, 6-4 back on January 8.
Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie Jonas Gustavsson took a puck to the leg in Thursday’s warm-ups. Gustavsson laid sprawled out on the ice and was forced to leave the ice before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Once the puck dropped, the Flyers added insult to his injury.
Brayden Schenn opened the scoring just 5:34 into the game with a rifled shot past backup Jussi Rynnas. Schenn’s first shot was blocked, and moments later fired off a Wayne Simmonds assist.
He added another goal less than six minutes later on the power play. As the man advantage wound down, Daniel Briere found Schenn on a two-on-one. The rookie easily beat Rynnas for his 11th goal of the season.
Blocking shots has not been kind to the Flyers this season. And unfortunately for them, James van Riemsdyk found that out the hard way.
The 22-year-old forward, who has not had the best of luck this season injury-wise, went down to block a shot, breaking his foot in the Flyers 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday.
The Flyers Twitter account tweeted a statement from general manager Paul Holmgren during the game. "van Riemsdyk has a broken bone in his left foot and will not return. He will see Dr. Raikin tomorrow for further evaluation."
On the play, van Riemsdyk went down to block a shot from Islanders defenseman Milan Jurcina, which hit him on the foot. While still on the ice, van Riemsdyk was able to coral the puck and clear it from the zone before struggling to get up and staggering to the bench and down the tunnel.
At the start of January, every one was buzzing while talking about Schenn.
Practically every fan of the Philadelphia Flyers was discussing how big of an impact he was going to have on the team. His size, his strength, his potential up side; the sky was the limit for this young NHL star of the future.
The only snag in the situation was that he was still a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As 2011 quickly turned to 2012, much of the talk was about Luke Schenn, the brother of Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. Linked in trade rumors involving James van Riemsdyk, many believed that it was only a matter of time before the elder Schenn brother would be a member of the Flyers.
In terms of Brayden, well, the jury still was out on him.
The Flyers are considered to be buyers in the coming weeks as the trade deadline rolls near.
Players like Nashville’s Ryan Suter and Shea Weber as well as Toronto’s Luke Schenn have been mentioned in numerous possible trade situations and rumors. But in the end, will it all matter for the Flyers?
Before this turns into a column writing off the Flyers, take a step back and look at the situation the team is in. They are currently eight points behind the Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead while resting with the fourth seed.
But on the other side of the Flyers, they are only eight points ahead of the ninth place Capitals. The Flyers could very easily be in the bottom half of the playoff tree when April rolls around and their possible match ups could spell doom.
The Red Wings are now in elite company, with twenty straight home wins with their tonight's win coming from strong performances by the Wings' top players. The top-six forwards and top-four defenseman all came away with at least one point except for Jiri Hudler.
Nicklas Kronwall opened the scoring with a blast from the point while Brayden Schenn sat in the box for tripping. The goal was originally credited to Bertuzzi but he didn't deflect is as initially thought but Bert and Hank provided the assists. Schenn redeemed himself late in the period when Danny Briere capitalized off a botched clear by MacDonald and passed it to Schenn who scored easily.