The Flyers won a game, just a game, just one of the four games that they will need in order to get past the New Jersey Devils in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But the way it happened should leave the Devils wondering -- because this was a great chance for them to take the series opener, and they didn't.
Think about it. The Devils had the first 11 shots of the game -- the Flyers didn't have one for almost exactly 10 minutes -- but they only had a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. Part of that was because Ilya Bryzgalov was very good at the start. Part of it was because the Devils weren't good enough.
Then the Flyers came back. They began to take over the play in a very significant way in the second period, and they only gave it up sporadically after that. Their forecheck was relentless. Whatever rustiness they had acquired over a week-long layoff following their first-round victory over Pittsburgh was gone. If Bryzgalov hadn't allowed Petr Sykora to rifle a shot between his pads in the third period, the Flyers would have won in regulation.
But the Devils could not take advantage of Bryz, just as they could not take advantage of the Flyers' slow start. You do not advance in the playoffs if you do not take advantage of opportunites, and the Devils whiffed on both of those in Game 1.