If ever there were 2 teams with something to prove, last night was that night. The Flyers successfully extended a 2 game winning streak by defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-2. The Flyers went down 1-0 early, however were able to score a beautiful power play goal to take a 1-1 tie in to the 1st intermission. The Flyers were able to strike first in the second period, again on the power play, to put the Flyers up 2-1. The Devils were not going away easily Jamie Langenbrunner tied the game game at 2. In the 3rd period the Flyers stuck with what works again drawing blood on the power play. Jeff Carter netted his 40th goal of the season and would eventually prove to be the game winner. Simon Gagne gave the orange and black some security when he scored on a nice pass from Claude Giroux.
The Flyers also snapped a 3 game skid to the Devils. If the Flyers are poised to make a deep run into this years Stanely Cup Playoffs, they will have to beat New Jersey. A major player in that is Danny Briere, while he says hes still not 100 percent back and he still has somethings he needs to work on, it's very clear that an already potent Flyers power play is leathal with Briere.
The other team scrapping for a playoff spot is the 76ers. The Sixers had a very tough west coast road trip this week and got quality wins at tough arenas to play such as at L.A. and at Portland.
The Sixers took on Portland last night and pulled out a gutsy 114-108 victory in OT, making the Sixers only the 6th team to beat the Blazers on their home court this year. Andre Miller had a game high 27 points for the sixers and also contributed with 10 rebounds. Thaddeus Young continued his coming out party with another solid 25 point performance. Samuel Dalembert also made few game changing plays on the defensive end at the conclusion of overtime.
Both the 76ers and the Flyers are in good shape to get the seeds that would prove to be more favorable 1st round match ups. The Sixers are 1.5 games behind a (no pun intended) hot Miami Heat team with a 13 games left to go, while the Flyers hold a 3 point lead with 10 games reaming.
The Sixers and Flyers are playing good ball/hockey and both could continue past the first round of their respective playoffs.