-- Philadelphia Flyers
forward Danny Briere
was finally able to snap his goal-scoring drought on Saturday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks
at United Center.
Briere, who scored a goal and had a game-high 4 points in a 6-5 loss to the Hawks, would certainly have traded away his playoff-high total for a victory and, perhaps, a better defensive showing.
Still, Briere was exceptionally active throughout, totaling 21:44 of ice time on 29 shifts while producing a game-high six shots. The 12-year veteran now leads the Flyers in playoff scoring with 22 points, including a career-high 10 goals, to complement a plus-6 rating. He snapped a pointless string of three straight games.
His goal with 26.1 seconds left in the first period had given the Flyers a 3-2 lead, capping a three-point period. Briere keyed the Flyers' second line featuring Scott Hartnell
and Ville Leino
, which combined for 3 goals, 9 points and a plus-5 rating.
Briere spoke to the media following his team's disappointing loss.
Danny, can you give us your impressions of Game 1?
Everywhere on the ice, both teams made mistakes. For us, we realized we can play and we could score goals. It's just a matter of better coverage in our zone. At times we were sleeping and gave up way too many chances in the slot area and with the shooters they have, we're going to get hurt if we keep doing that so that's the one area we'll have to tighten up.
Did you think secondary scoring would be this important?
You look at the top two lines and there is a lot of talent. On some nights, it's going to even up and that's when it becomes critical that your second, third and fourth line do a good job and tonight their bottom-three lines did a better job than ours. That's why we're down 1-0.
Can you comment on the play of goalie Michael Leighton
We can't blame him. You look at the goals that they scored. If there's something we should look at, we should look at ourselves first and realize we can't be giving up shots from the slot. We can't afford to leave their shooters all alone in that area. We have to do a better job of tightening up and keeping them to the outside. There are a lot of things we need to improve on in our defensive zone.
Have you ever been in a game where you didn't give up a single power-play and the other team still scored six goals?
I can't remember any games like that. And the frustrating part is that you can't always blame the goaltender on any of the goals. It was all about coverage and we didn't do a very good job and I don't know how to explain it, but we have to look at ourselves and realize we can't let the parade go by. This is the Stanley Cup Final and a lot of guys, including myself, have to do a better job.
Are you surprised that Leighton was pulled in a one-goal game since you felt the goals weren't his fault?
I think at that point it was a message and it's the first thing that Peter (Laviolette) said -- don't look at goaltending. Look at yourself first, and we're not blaming goaltending. I hope you guys (the media) aren't blaming goaltending because the shots that he had to face … not too many goalies were going to stop them.
You look at this team as opposed to the teams you played in the Eastern Conference, are the Blackhawks the deepest team you've faced? Do they have scoring strength on all four lines that could hurt you?
I don't know. It's not so much looking at them as it is looking at ourselves. We didn't do a good job, we didn't play well and we have to rebound.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale