Technically speaking tonight is not a “must-win” game for the Flyers. If they lose, they will still live to see another day but their playoffs hopes would be on life-support. That’s just technically speaking.
In reality, tonight is a “must-win” game for the Flyers. Heading back to New York trailing 3-1 in a series in which you have to win three straight games, including two at Madison Square Garden, is not ideal. In fact, it’s one of the worst things that could happen to the Flyers.
They need to win Game 4 tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia gets a boost between the pipes tonight as Steve Mason was named the starter for Game 4 after missing much of the first three games with an upper-body injury. The starter in Mason’s place, Ray Emery, will be the Flyers backup.
Emery wasn’t terrible in the first two games of the series keeping the Flyers in Game 1 as long as he could and standing tall in Philadelphia’s Game 2 victory. Game 3 was a night I bet Emery would like to forget about. He let in a few soft goals as the rest of his teammates struggled to figure out how to beat Henrik Lundqvist as New York rolled to a 4-1 victory.
Mason will have to stand tall for the Flyers to win on Friday.
Philadelphia is going to need more offense from their scorers as Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Matt Read, Brayden Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier, among others, have yet to record a goal in the series. The Flyers forwards have scored three goals (one was an empty-netter) and the Flyers defensemen have scored three goals. That won’t get the job done against a strong Rangers club.
Claude Giroux guaranteed a Flyers victory in Game 4 so they need to come out swinging. The Flyers are 14-7 when the series is tied 2-2 and 24-9 when winning Game 4. The bad news is they have only comeback from a 3-1 series deficit twice in franchise history.
Tonight will be huge.