Penguins look to recover, even series with Flyers
Thursday, 04.12.2012 / 5:02 PM
Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior WriterFLYERS at PENGUINS
(Philadelphia leads best-of-seven series, 1-0)
TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH (HD), ROOT (HD)
The Flyers won Game 1 in overtime after falling behind 3-0. They rallied on two goals by Danny Briere
, a power-play goal from Brayden Schenn
, and an overtime winner at 2:23 from Jakub Voracek
. The Penguins feel they did not play a complete game after jumping out to a big lead. They have to if they want to tie the series before it shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Sunday.
The Comeback Kids were at it again Wednesday. For the third time in the last month against the Penguins, the Flyers fell behind early only to rally late for the win. They have trailed in eight of their last 13 games.
Briere, who missed the last three regular season games, showed up huge in Game 1 with two goals, giving him 98 points in 98 career playoff games. He got the Flyers started, but it was Philadelphia's strong special teams play that made the biggest difference.
The Flyers stopped Pittsburgh's power play on all three of its chances before scoring on their only shot on their only chance. It came on a redirect from Schenn, who tipped Scott Hartnell
's shot-pass from the point past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
. Voracek then scored the OT winner as the Flyers kept up the pressure and never let the Penguins get an offensive opportunity in the short extra session.
All that said, the Flyers still played with fire yet again Wednesday. It's not something they want to do again.
"To be honest, I think we got lucky," defenseman Kimmo Timonen
said. "Obviously we didn't start the way we wanted to start. It's not an easy building to play in against the top team in the League. That's why I say we got lucky. We have to be a totally different team from the first period on."
They used their speed to jump out to a lead in Game 1, but didn't follow through with it in the second and third periods and paid dearly.
Mostly, though, the Penguins were burned by their power play. They had a chance early in the second period when the score was still 3-0 in their favor to use the power play to keep the pressure on. They couldn't do it, and nearly gave up a goal when Claude Giroux
came out of the box and set up Hartnell for a one-timer off a 2-on-1. Fleury had to make a dazzling right pad save to keep the puck out of the net.
Pittsburgh coughed up two more power plays after Briere made it 2-1. It managed only five shots with the man-advantage.
So naturally, the Penguins spent a good portion of practice Thursday working on the power play. The big change was Steve Sullivan
moved to the right point, where he played for a good amount of time this season.
"Obviously, the power play needs to do a better job," defenseman Kris Letang
said. "That's the reason we practiced it this morning. We could have put the game away with a power-play goal. We have to work on it and learn from it and make sure we do the right things."
Schenn had a monster playoff debut with three points on a goal and two assists. He also had a goal and an assist in the regular season finale against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. … Pascal Dupuis
had a goal and an assist Wednesday, extending his point scoring streak to 18 games. Sidney Crosby
also had a goal and an assist. Letang had two assists.
Flyers defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (upper body) is questionable after injuring himself in Game 1. … Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen
(upper body) is likely out. He has missed the last three games.
The Penguins are 1-for-44 on the power play in their last nine playoff games dating back to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Montreal in 2010. … The Flyers have 10 wins after falling behind by two goals and four after falling behind by three goals.
The Flyers are 6-1 at Consol Energy Center, but coach Peter Laviolette says that doesn't matter heading into Game 2:
"I don't buy into that statistic," he said. "The Penguins have a good hockey team and they'll be ready to play (Friday) night. I don't think because there is a statistic that it will affect the game (Friday)."