Penguins defeat Flyers to start season with revenge

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time the Flyers and Penguins met, Philadelphia torched Pittsburgh for 30 goals in six games en route to taking the team's first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Eight months later, back in the building where the Penguins' season ended, they limited the Flyers to one goal and opened this season with a 3-1 victory at Wells Fargo Center.

Tyler Kennedy, James Neal and Chris Kunitz each had a goal, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, beaten for most of those goals in that playoff series, stopped 26 of 27 shots.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored his team's goal. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made 24 saves.

The Penguins controlled the first period, limited the Flyers to six shots, three on a late power play.

At the other end, Kennedy opened the scoring with a power-play goal 4:40 into the game. Brandon Sutter, making his debut as the Penguins' new third-line center, beat Giroux on a faceoff in the Philadelphia end late in the man-advantage, with the puck going back to Matt Niskanen. He passed over to defense partner Paul Martin, who fired a shot from the right point that deflected off Kennedy past Bryzgalov.

Minutes later, another faceoff win led to the Penguins' second goal. Evgeni Malkin beat Sean Couturier on a draw in the right circle and kicked the puck behind him to Neal. He ripped a one-timer from the top of the circle that appeared to surprise Bryzgalov and it got past him at 7:20 to make it 2-0.

The Flyers got a goal back 23 seconds into the second period. Brayden Schenn sent Scott Hartnell on a breakout down the left side in the Pittsburgh end. He floated a perfect saucer pass through the slot to Giroux on the right post, and he jammed it past Fleury to make it 2-1.

The Flyers continued to push for most of the second period. Their best chance came with 8:30 left, when Giroux made a sensational move around Paul Martin on a rush into the Pittsburgh end, faking and dragging the puck past the Penguins defenseman. Giroux tried to get a shot on net, but the puck bounced across to Scott Hartnell, who couldn't get a clean shot and Fleury was able to cover the puck.

There were chances for the Flyers in the third on a pair of late power plays, to Deryk Engellend for interference at 14:27 and to Malkin for high-sticking at 17:33. The Flyers had a great chance during the first man-advantage when Hartnell took a pass from Giroux and nearly stuffed it under Fleury, but he made the save. The second advantage was short-circuited when Giroux was sent off for tripping with 1:02 remaining.

Kunitz's empty-net power-play goal with 11.2 seconds left closed the scoring.


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