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Briere accustomed to rising to the occasion

by Mike G. Morreale /
PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers forward Danny Briere has made a living in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

How else can you explain his offensive explosion once his team reaches the second season. The 12th-season veteran forward was at it again on Wednesday, scoring the decisive goal in the second period of a 2-1 triumph over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 at Wachovia Center. He now has 29 goals and 70 points in 74 career postseason games.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has really liked the energy and enthusiasm exhibited by Briere's line in this best-of-seven series that will conclude at TD Garden in Boston with Game 7 on Friday at 7 p.m. (ET). Briere, who has points in seven of his last eight games and leads the Flyers with six goals, has found plenty of success skating between Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell all series.

"Yeah, they have been really good," Laviolette said. "They were good in Boston and they were good again (Wednesday). I think all three players have had their best game in the playoffs and that line seems to have a little bit of chemistry."

Briere spoke to the media to discuss his team's big win on Wednesday and his thoughts on Game 7 in Beantown.

Q: You have been doing very well in this series. What has been the difference in last series and certainly this series as well?

Briere: I don't know. I mean, you go through stretches. I remember the first game in New Jersey our line wasn't very good, but after that things started going better and better. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn't. At this point, pucks seem to be finding the back of the net for me, so I've been trying to put as many pucks as I can on net. A perfect example was from the goal tonight, where I tried to pass it and when the puck came back to me, I just thought it was meant to be, so I took it to the net and I was thinking shoot after that all the way.

Q: Can you say you were this confident when you were down 3-0?

Briere: There's not a doubt that it's grown. As you rack up the wins and you feel better and better about your game and the things you're doing, even tonight, I think we played our best game of the series, but we're going to need more than that to win in Boston. But the thing that I like is that even though they cycle the puck hard on us, in the second period especially, we kept it to the outside for the most part. We didn't give them too many point-blank shots, and when we did a few times in the third, (Michael) Leighton was there to make the big stops.

Q: How much of a burden is this on Boston now?

Briere: I'm sure there's lots of pressure on them. The other team might win three games on you, but after they win three games after you're up, 3-0, I'm sure the pressure is mounting even more. For us, we want it too, now that we're here and now that we've climbed all the way back in this series. We have to realize that the last game will be the toughest to leave with.

Q: How big was your goal to give the team a 2-0 lead?

Briere: At the time I didn't know that it was going to go all the way. You give up a goal like that to make it 2-0, it's always a back-breaker, it's always tough to come back from that. We were able to keep them off the scoreboard long enough to survive in the third.

Q: This is your third playoff stint with this team. What are you learning about this group and, in particular, this year's group of guys?

Briere: What's amazing this year is that all the times we've been down and at one point we were 14th in the (Eastern) Conference, we were a shootout away from being sent home (on the last day of the regular season against the Rangers). And all the injuries we've battled through, the goalie situation, being down 3-0 in this series … it's pretty amazing that no-quit attitude we have in this room, but at the same time I don't want to be satisfied with coming back in this series. I want to get the last one.

Q: What is it about the playoffs that brings out the best in you?

Briere: I don't know, I wish I had an answer for it. I really don't know what it is. The other day we talked about confidence. Maybe it is confidence. I don't know. I think it's just about embracing that challenge. I grew up watching playoff hockey, this is what I live for. There's no better time in the season.

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