Penguins win in shootout, sweep Flyers
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
PHILADELPHIA -- In the 1960s, they called the peace movement Flower Power. That term has taken a whole different meaning in present-day Pittsburgh.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
-- known to teammates as Flower -- had a number of sensational saves among the 31 he made Thursday night as Pittsburgh took a 3-2 shootout decision from the host Philadelphia Flyers
Fleury denied Danny Briere
and Claude Giroux
in the shootout as the Penguins swept the home-and-home series from the Flyers and won their fourth straight.
"The early part of the season there he was winning quite a few games for us," defenseman Alex Goligoski told NHL.com. "Definitely with the stars we have on our team he might get overlooked a little bit, but definitely not in the locker room. He's a big part."
"He played great, made some really big saves throughout the game," captain Sidney Crosby
said. "Breakaways, some loose pucks right around the net. … We made him work pretty hard in some instances."
Crosby scored in regulation and again in the shootout, where he is a perfect 5-for-5 this season. Bill Guerin had the Pens' other goal in regulation, and Kris Letang
joined Crosby in scoring in the shootout.
Jeff Carter and Giroux scored in regulation for the Flyers. Goalie Brian Boucher stopped 28 of 30 shots, but was beaten twice in the shootout. Letang fired a quick wrist shot low to the glove side from in close, and then Crosby flubbed his attempt, but got enough of it to float it over Boucher's glove.
"That's where I wanted to put it, but not that slow," Crosby said. "I don't think any goalie expects anything like that. Can't really blame them. Kind of a lucky shot."
That seems to be the kind of luck Crosby has every time he plays the Flyers, especially in Philadelphia. Booed vociferously every time he touched the puck by the sell-out crowd of 19,689, Crosby just shrugs it off as another night at the office. A loud, nasty office.
Crosby is hesitant to admit it, but he seems to like being the villain. In 29 games against the Flyers, he now has 29 goals and 50 points.
"I don't really know anything different," he said. "That's the way it's been for five years. It's a rivalry and we know that we're going to see their best and hopefully we bring our best. It's always a building we have to be ready to play in."
The Flyers scored first, just 1:15 into the game, when Carter scored for the first time in five games. He took a shot from the bottom of the right circle that Fleury stopped, but the rebound bounced off defenseman Sergei Gonchar's arm and into the net for his 12th of the season.
Guerin tied the game less than two minutes later with a power-play goal. He pulled the rebound of an Evgeni Malkin
shot out of traffic in front of the Philadelphia net and shoved it behind Boucher for his ninth of the season.
The Flyers nearly went ahead at 10:20 of the period, but Fleury made a fantastic glove save to rob Danny Briere
. Fleury stopped a Carter shot, and Briere crashed the net looking for the rebound. Fleury sprawled to stop the first attempt, and Briere tried chipping a second try over the fallen netminder. Lying on his side, Fleury rolled back and stuck his glove in the air to catch the pop-up.
"I don't know why I fell on my butt," Fleury said with a laugh. "The puck came flying over. I just had time to reach up."
put the Flyers ahead 2:04 into the second when he beat Matt Cooke
to the rebound of a Daniel Carcillo shot for a power-play goal seconds after Malkin went off for tripping.
Again, Fleury kept the game close until Crosby could capitalize on a Chris Pronger
giveaway for a power-play goal at 9:17 of the second.
And he kept the game tied no matter how hard the Flyers pressed after that. He stopped Arron Asham
on a breakaway and then stuck out his right leg to deny James van Riemsdyk
on the rebound. He stuffed Briere on a wraparound attempt off a Carter rebound, and then he dove to deny Carcillo after Fleury turned the puck over to him behind the net.
It wasn't pretty, but it certainly was effective.
"It's the kind of goalie he is," Goligoski said. "He's really athletic, he battles hard, never gives up on a puck. It's fun playing in front of a guy like that because you know he's going to give that kind of effort."
"I think there have been games this year that have been different, where he's been real sharp controlling rebounds, making saves, challenging shooters, being real strong in scrum situations," Pens coach Dan Bylsma said, "and tonight was one of those nights where he was on his game."
The Flyers also were on their game. They pressed and attacked and created chances. While they lost for the ninth time in their last 11 games, they did come away with one point against a team that had drubbed them 6-1 two nights earlier.
"Getting a point in a tough game like this against a good opponent, you've got to take the positives," forward Scott Hartnell
told NHL.com. "You can look at the glass as half empty or half full. I think we're all positive people in here and we're trying to take positives from games even when they don't go so well. You've got to take a positive spin on this one. We played hard, we deserved two points instead of one, but we'll take the one all things considered the last few weeks."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com.