There is a new formula for games in which the Pens get eliminated from the playoffs. Give up an early goal, take bad penalties, don't pay attention to detail, give up some more weak goals, get underwhelming performances from your stars, have some flurries that make you think there's hope, have that hope slowly extinguished, go home.
So it was in 2010, so it was in 2012. The Pens could have won this series having lost a game like this had some semblance of the team we knew this season shown up in Games 2 or 3. But it wasn't meant to be. The Flyers are a legitimate threat to win the Stanley Cup (it's critically important that doesn't happen), and they have a star who is definitely on the same level as the Pens top two, at least when he's playing against the Pens' defense and goalie.
We're biased, of course, so it's hard for us to admit that the Flyers deserved to win this series. But it's not hard to admit that the Pens definitely didn't.
There will be lots of time to reflect on this series, on the team going forward, and what tweaks can and should be made. Right now, we're just a little bitter about what a wasted opportunity this season turned out to be.
Thanks for riding with GTOG.