The Flyers are playing with fire.

They came back from a 3-0 deficit once this season, and it's not going to happen again.  Game 3 in Philadelphia is a must win.  That might seem like an obvious observation, but for a team that has been living on hopes and prayers the last two months – making the playoffs in a shootout, falling behind 3-0 to the Bruins in the series and in Game 7, and playing goaltender roulette- the Flyers can't afford to tempt fate any longer.

All of that being said, this series is far from over.  Unlike the last time they were in the finals, when they were completely outclassed by the Red Wings, the Flyers have been in position to win each of the first two games.  If it wasn't for Antti Niemi standing on his head and early whistles last night, this series may very well be tied 1-1.  Twice referees whistled plays dead when Niemi didn't have full possession of the puck, the most obvious of which coming half-way through the third period.  

Niemi briefly corralled the puck with his blocker hand, only to see it squirt loose and wind up in the back of the net.  The play was whistled dead as soon as referees lost site of it.  I played hockey for a long time, and at any level, that play was whistled dead way too early.  I'm surprised NBC or the Flyers didn't make a bigger deal of this.  Of course, had Michael Leighton not given up a soft goal to Ben Eager, this point would be moot…

It will be interesting to see how Leighton (and the Flyers) bounce back with home ice advantage.

Game 3 is Wednesday night at 8 o'clock on Versus (yay…).