BOSTON -- Mike Richards
watched his team get off to a slow start in this best-of-seven series, but the Philadelphia Flyers
certainly finished with a flourish.
The Flyers' captain helped make history on Friday night as he assisted on Simon Gagne
's game-winning goal with 7:08 left in regulation in Philadelphia's improbable 4-3 victory against the Boston Bruins
at TD Garden.
The victory allowed the Flyers -- who rallied from a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 -- to become the first team since the New York Islanders
in 1975 to come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games. Philadelphia, the No. 7 seed, will have home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens
. That series gets under way on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
Richards spoke with the media after Friday's victory.
Q: You guys got off to a rough start and fell behind 3-0. What happened?
They started strong. They threw everything at us and got a couple of power-play goals. We just had to settle down and play hockey and be confident. JVR (James van Riemsdyk
) got that big goal at the end of the first. He played extremely well and carried us for most of the game. Then we started to finally make plays in the second period and it turned around.
Q: What does this say about the character of this team?
We have been resilient all year. Whether it was injuries or putting ourselves in a bad position in the standings, we have been through a lot together this year. Our mindset was if you are going to go down, you are going to go down swinging. We took it one goal at a time. Like I said, JVR had that big goal for us and got us momentum at the end of the first. We then started relaxing and playing hockey and feeling more comfortable on the ice. We got a couple of bounces and they went in.
Q: What did you think about the Bruins' too-many-men penalty?
I saw it right away. I saw one guy go to the bench and two guys jump on. Maybe they were a little bit too excited. Our power play picked a good time to click.
Q: What went through your mind when the final horn sounded?
Relief, I think -- especially after they scored two 6-on-5 goals in the series. They were shooting pucks from everywhere and the puck was flying everywhere. I think it was a sigh of relief when the buzzer went off.
Q: What can you say about your next opponent, the Montreal Canadiens?
If I recall, I think all the games were one- or two-goal games. They have a very good defensive system. Their goaltenders are playing extremely well right now. They have a lot of skill. I think we have our hands full.
Q: Are the Flyers a team of destiny?
I think it is tough to answer that right now. We had a couple of bounces go our way the past couple of games to get to this point. I think we have good chemistry and a good core. We play hard for each other and obviously want the season to continue to play with each other.
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL