WASHINGTON - Kimmo Timonen has been in enough of these situations to know that taking one game from the home team is huge, but not enough to win a series.
The veteran defenseman is certain the Washington Capitals will not just go away, and that playing in the Wachovia Center won't make playing against Alex Ovechkin any easier.
But if a playoff series doesn't begin until someone wins on the road, then consider this best-of-seven, Eastern Conference quarterfinal well on the way.
With a Game 1 loss that left them feeling like they had handed back an opportunity, Martin Biron and the Flyers made the necessary adjustments to shut out the Capitals yesterday, 2-0, in the Verizon Center and bring the series back home tied 1-1, with Game 3 tomorrow night.
"Now we go home, but the game won't be any easier at home," Timonen said. "Obviously we have 20,000 people on our side this time, but we have to make sure that we don't do anything different than we did today, even if it's our rink."
That might not be easy.
If winning a long series is a game of making adjustments, looking for tendencies and then turning them into advantages, look for the Capitals to tighten up their system because the Flyers appear to have spotted a chink in their offensive plan.
Twice in the first period, the Flyers saw Ovechkin and his line skating ahead of defenseman Mike Green and looking for a long pass that would send the big Russian gun in on the rush, where he is so dangerous.
The Flyers also kept Green, who scored two third-period goals Friday, contained on defense.
"That's the one thing we may have learned from Game 1," said Flyers coach John Stevens. "I don't think you can just run at [Green]. You can't just try to get hits on him, you can't chase him behind the net. Sometimes you've got to angle and make sure he doesn't get up ice on you, and try to force the puck out of his hands."
That is what the Flyers did on both their first-period goals, isolating the third-year defenseman or catching him too far up to help goalie Cristobal Huet.
R.J. Umberger and Braydon Coburn did it first, allowing Umberger to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead, and then Mike Knuble and Jeff Carter did it again.
Then the Flyers tightened the knot and allowed Biron to see most of Washington's 24 shots from a comfortable distance and stay confident to make spectacular saves on the chances that got close.
Perhaps his biggest save was on Alexander Semin. Biron dived across the crease and gloved a sure goal late in the second period. He had help from the crossbar on a shot from Semin in the opening minutes of the game, but he was solid the rest of the way.
"To take the 1-0 lead and then go up 2-0 definitely allows you to be able to play your game and know that you can challenge a little bit, and if you make a few mistakes you can battle back hard," Biron said.
It was the third shutout in four games for Biron, who will accompany his wife, Anne Marie, to a hospital today for the scheduled birth of the couple's third child.
"This was big," he said. "We had to kill a few penalties early [five in the game's first 24 minutes] and they hit the crossbar early or that could have given them a 1-0 lead. They had a few chances, but for me they seemed to hit my shoulder or the right spot.
"Now we have to stay consistent in our emotion because they are going to be hard on us [tomorrow] night."
Washington started the game looking to play for the home run and had its forwards breaking up ice way ahead of the defensemen.
Umberger was the first to jump. Spotting the Capitals' defensemen cheating in the middle, he broke for an opening, calling back to Coburn for the puck. Coburn made a nice feed and Umberger skated into the offensive zone.
Huet, back in his net and looking surprised, was beaten high and the Flyers took a 1-0 lead 5 minutes, 53 seconds into the first period.
It happened again later in the period. With both Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom beyond the red line, Knuble and Carter isolated Green in the neutral zone. Knuble stole the puck and drove two-on-one with Carter. His shot was blocked, but Carter got the rebound and the Flyers had a 2-0 lead at 15:17.
That score remained through the second period as the Flyers dominated play, outshooting the Capitals, 14-6. Washington went without a shot for the last 7:13; anything the Caps did seemed desperate and disorganized.
Ovechkin, who played 26:45, with five shots and five hits, didn't let up but was stymied by the Flyers' plan to contain him with the trio of Timonen, Coburn and Mike Richards. And instead of allowing him to make the big play, the Flyers kept him off the board.
"I felt unsatisfied [Friday night]," Richards said. "I thought we played a good game except for probably five shifts, and they capitalized on all of them.
"We played so well today that we just wanted to keep it going and not have any blips on the radar. The biggest thing was just keeping it simple because the ice wasn't the greatest, and when things like that happen you don't want to have a bounce over your stick."
The Flyers kept it simple and exploited Washington's game plan.
"They want to get pucks to their forwards as much as possible and I thought we did a good job of staying above them," Richards added.
Now the Capitals must make changes.
"Today we didn't play hard, and we didn't play our style," Ovechkin said. "It's OK, it happens sometimes. You can't win all the games, so we have 1 day to realize what is going on, what we have to change, and play better and play more positive than Philly."
did not play yesterday but is recovering from being hit in the groin by a puck Friday. He is a possibility to play tomorrow . . .
, however, did not skate in practice Saturday and did not sound confident about returning soon. *