DETROIT — Having sat together high in the end-zone seats during the Eagles’ 38-7 wipeout of Minnesota in Sunday’s NFC championship game at Lincoln Financial Field, the Flyers have added inspiration to reach a Stanley Cup Final.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable. If I hadn’t been there to see it live, I probably wouldn’t have believed it,” goalie Michal Neuvirth said after the morning skate Tuesday in Detroit, where the Flyers were preparing to play the Red Wings. “Even after the game, we went downtown for a little bit and I’ve never seen so many people. It was crazy, and it’s great for the city.”
Left winger Michael Raffl said he was “standing like a super fan until the end. It was unreal. I loved it.”
“Best game I’ve ever been to, for sure,” center Sean Couturier said. “Everybody stood the whole game. It was pretty crazy.”
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Most of the Flyers attended the game after taking a train from Washington, where they had defeated the Capitals earlier Sunday, 2-1, in overtime.
Several Flyers wore green jerseys to show their support for the Eagles, and Couturier even wore a hat that had a stuffed eagle atop it.
“It was probably the most fun event I’ve ever been to,” defenseman Andrew MacDonald said. “When they got that pick-six, everyone went bonkers, and it seemed like the rest of the game, it continued that way.”
“An awesome experience,” captain Claude Giroux said.
MacDonald, who said there was a brief “Let’s go, Flyers!” chant from the fans when the players were recognized, said it was “different being on the other side and being part of the fan experience. Everyone knows how passionate the Philly fans are, and to be part of it was really special. We had a blast.”
Raffl said he got into Lincoln Financial Field a bit late, so he missed the Vikings’ first drive, which produced a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.
“It was all Eagles from there,” Raffl said. “They took off.”
Giroux played in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals and was asked which was louder, the Wells Fargo Center or the Linc.
“Both,” he said, “were pretty crazy.”
Neuvirth said he would like the chance to compare a Stanley Cup Final atmosphere in Philadelphia with what he experienced Sunday at the NFC championship game.
“Game 7. Wooooooooooo!” he said.
Goalie Brian Elliott will start for the Flyers and is expected to face the Red Wings’ Petr Mrazek, who has recorded consecutive shutouts. He is 0-1-2 with a 2.91 GAA and .923 save percentage in three career games against the Flyers. … At the morning skate, Dale Weise, Taylor Leier, and Mark Alt were the last players off the ice, usually an indication they will be healthy scratches. Coach Dave Hakstol, however, said that there was a chance he was going to make a minor lineup change, but that he would decide near game time. … The Flyers, who have seven victories in their last eight games, have won a league-best 52.9 percent of their faceoffs.