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Timonen wants to see Flyers find next gear

by Shawn P. Roarke
CHICAGO -- Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen did everything he could to make sure his team did not go home to Philadelphia facing a 2-0 series deficit in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

He played more than 24 minutes -- usually against one of Chicago's top two lines -- without allowing a goal against. He also fired off five shots, including three in a desperate third-period effort to get the tying goal. Plus, he was on the ice for Simon Gagne's power-play goal early in the third.

Unfortunately, none of that was enough to prevent the Flyers from dropping a 2-1 decision Monday night at the United Center; a back-breaking loss that sends Philadelphia home facing an 0-2 deficit that has rarely been overcome in the history of the Stanley Cup Final.

A team has won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final 33 times before this year. Thirty-one times, that team has gone on to win the Cup.

Monday night, in a somber visitors' dressing room, Timonen talked about the game that unfolded Monday night and what Philadelphia must do to get back into this best-of-7 series. Several times, he referenced the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Boston, a series in which Philadelphia erased a 3-0 deficit, as well as a three-goal deficit in Game 7.

Q: How disappointing is it to lose two one-goal games?

Timonen: It's obviously disappointing. We wanted to get the split here, at least. Obviously we wanted to win two games, but it didn't happen. I think we played pretty good in the third period and that is our game that we should play 60 minutes. I thought in second period, we didn't do a very good job of forechecking and when we don't do that, they are going to find open lanes and they scored a couple of goals there. But now we go home and we got to really forecheck their D.

Q: Should people look for more close games when we go to your building?

Timonen: I think so. That was a Stanley Cup Final game. It was a close game and the teams are pretty even. We'll see when we go home. I'm sure we are going to put another gear on.

Q: You have been in a lot of tough spots this season. How does this feel being down 2-0 in Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks?

Timonen: Well, it happened in Boston too. We were done 2-0 and actually we lost at home to go down 3-0. Now it is not time to panic. We have been here and done this before. Obviously we have to get better and I am sure when we go home we will get a lot better. We got to get to another gear. Like in third period we played really well, I thought, because every five guys skated and really forechecked hard.

Q: Is it deflating to give up a second goal in that 28-second span?

Timonen: It's not the ideal position, but it's part of the game. We had a lot of time to get it back and actually when we scored to make it 2-1, I thought we were going to tie it for sure. We had some chances at the end, but (Antti) Niemi was pretty good at the end.

Q: (Claude) Giroux just said that the third period was what you needed more than the first two periods.

Timonen: I think that is right. The third period was our best period so far. That's our game. That's the way we have been winning playoff games. That's us. We can skate and create turnovers by skating, and I thought in the first couple of periods I don't think we skated as good as we can. Obviously in a 2-1 situation, everyone kind of felt desperate and we played a pretty good third, but we just couldn't score.

Q: In the Boston series, after you lost those first two games, a lot of players felt like you outplayed them. Do you feel the same way in this series?

Timonen: I think in Boston series, we felt were better team even if we were down 2-0. You can't say that here. Obviously, first game we could play better. Tonight was a tight game; they score two goals pretty quick. But like I said, (the) third period was all about us -- and if we keep playing that way for 60 minutes, we are going to win games. Now we go home, we have to bring that extra gear.

Q: Do you feel like (Michael) Leighton bounced back?

Timonen: I thought he played a pretty solid game.

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