VOORHEES, N.J. -- Everyone was optimistic.
Sure, the Flyers lost Game 3 and trail their series with the Rangers, 2-1. Yet they can earn a tie in Game 4 on Friday.
Everyone chose to see the positives.
Sure, the Flyers had 28 shots blocked, 10 on the power play. They they also got 32 on net that Henrik Lundqvist had to contend with.
“We had 30 some shots and that’s good,” Sean Couturier said. “It’s getting those second and third opportunities in front of the net. That will make a difference.”
As ominous as things are trending here where the Rangers’ defensive dominance has pretty much shut down the Flyers offense in two of three games, Craig Berube’s group isn’t in panic mode.
The Flyers feel they played better than the 4-1 score of Game 3 would indicate.
“It doesn’t change anything for us,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said after the game. “We’ll be ready for Game 4. We’re going to tie up this series and go back to New York.
“We just have to stay confident. That’s why it’s playoffs. It’s exciting. We’re going to come off even better in game four.”
There you have it. Giroux called a win late Tuesday.
“We believe in ourselves,” Couturier said. “We have the character to come back. We’ve done it all year. I don’t see why we can’t do it again. We just got to take it one game at a time and do the right things.”
Thing is, the Flyers know they’ve had poor games before during the regular season and have bounced back with a win the next night out.
“Why wouldn’t we be confident?” Berube asked. “It’s no time to put your head down. We lost a game at home, we’re down 2-1, but we got a game Friday and we gotta be positive, do things better and score more goals.”
Giroux said if the team “sticks with it” they will be fine. He believes the team is playing far better than others have suggested through three games. Giroux himself has two assists and two shots in the series.
It goes without saying how good the Flyers were this season in coming from behind in games, especially in the third period where they had 11 comeback victories.
Twice the Flyers have been down 2-0 in this series. They rallied to win Game 2 that way but couldn’t in Game 3 and probably don’t want to test their comeback ability again in Game 4.
“We’re used to coming back,” Wayne Simmonds said. “We played a good game for 50 minutes but we just have to get a better start. Carry momentum from there.
“I don’t know if we’re more comfortable [coming back] but we are more used to it now. We are comfortable in that kind of situation and we’re going to continue to push, no matter what happens and that’s what’s taken on here. We’re a resilient bunch. We’re never going to quit.”
One of the decisive assets the Flyers had working in their favor coming into this series was scoring depth. Seven players with 20 or more goals during the regular season.
Three games into this playoff series, they’ve gotten only two goals from a 20-goal guy -- Jakub Voracek and Simmonds, who scored on an empty net.
Where’s the scoring depth? It needs to surface in Game 4.
“Keep pushing, keep going,” Simmonds said. “It’s easy to look back and say what we could have done but we still have a lot of games in front of us here. We got to make it count starting the next game.”
As much as the Rangers wanted it, the NHL did not impose supplementary discipline to Matt Read, who caught Dan Carcillo with a shoulder in the third period of Game 3.
Carcillo went down hard on the ice, even though it appeared Read barely touched him on replays.
Carcillo got his own revenge later that period, coming out of the penalty box to take a pass from Brian Boyle for a goal that made it 4-1.