PHILADELPHIA - The Chicago Blackhawks and the Phildelphia Flyers are on the same page going into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final at the Wachovia Center.
They both agree tonight’s game is the significant defining point of this series; moreso for the Flyers, who cannot tempt fate by going down 3-0 for a second series this spring.
“Yeah, you know, the first game was a must-win. The second game was a must-win. This third one is a must-win. We have to win hockey games. We have to get into the race here. It’s an important game,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
“We’re back in our building with our fans. We have had a lot of great hockey games here down the stretch of the regular season, through the playoffs. Even the one game we lost, I felt like we dominated the game.
“So it’s a good place for us. Guys are confident. We need to get on the board.”
The Flyers were down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins in the second round and became just the third team in NHL history to climb out of that hole.
But the ’Hawks were feeling the same urgency this morning.
“I think we’re pretty focused on Game 3. Everyone knows what’s on the line in this series. We’re definitely not getting too far ahead of ourselves,” said Chicago forward Patrick Sharp. “We know the challenges to play in this building and how good their fans are going to be to help them on their side.
“It’s going to be tough for us here. We’re not looking past tonight’s game, that’s for sure.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he liked the vibe he was getting from his players at the skate this morning.
“I think we haven’t gotten ahead of ourselves. I think our approach today has been great. I really enjoyed the morning skate. Very business-like. More matter-of-fact than we’ve seen at any point in the playoffs.
“We’re approaching this as a must-win for us. I think the focus is in the right areas. We feel we can play better than we have shown here in the series and we’re looking to improve off of those levels.”