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Penguins vs Flyers - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Flyers look to extend uncanny success at Consol

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Flyers center Claude Giroux wants to thank the Penguins' fans for helping to motivate him before and during games at Consol Energy Center.

"We don't really like the fans here and it's like we have something to prove to the fans that we're better than them," Giroux said Friday prior to Game 5 against the Penguins. "I remember last game there was actually two fans on the glass there and the whole game we were looking at each other. It gets me going a little bit. I would like to thank those two fans for sure. I didn't know what they were saying; it was just yelling and making signs with their hands that I can't really say on TV. It got me going a little bit."

Odds are those fans, or at least more than 18,300 like them, will be yelling and screaming at Giroux and the Flyers again in Game 5 Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS). But, considering the Flyers' history in this new building, maybe a tactical change is in order.

Desperation is Penguins' lone ally in Game 5

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- There is no more daunting challenge in any sport than trying to rally from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven playoff series. Such a comeback has been successfully mounted only three times in 167 attempts in Stanley Cup Playoffs history, only once in Major League Baseball and not a single time in the NBA.

But the Philadelphia Flyers of 2010 gave hope to all teams who find themselves in the most precarious of positions by surging back from three games down and a 3-0 deficit against Boston in Game 7 to win the final four games and the series. Last season, the Blackhawks and Red Wings both forced a Game 7 after being down 3-0.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have a history of pulling off improbable comebacks, are trying now to climb the steepest of playoff mountains. Not just beaten but embarrassed while losing the first three games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series to the Philadelphia Flyers by 4-3 in overtime, 8-5 and 8-4, they managed to pull off a 10-3 rout in Game 4 to force a Game 5 Friday night at Consol Energy Center.

Pens' Asham dares to dream of the improbable

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- While the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins aren't talking of anything but their next game -- one they weren't assured of playing until they somehow found a way to win -- forward Arron Asham is daring to believe that the near impossible is indeed possible.

Maybe because he's already been part of an Impossible Dream scenario himself with the very team the Penguins are opposing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Two years ago, the Flyers trailed the Boston Bruins 3-0 in the series and 3-0 in Game 7, only to rally and win their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. It marked only the third time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history a team won four in a row after dropping the first three. Asham was part of that team.

First four games of Pens-Flyers series very unique

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

"Am I surprised?. Yeah, it's usually tight checking, defense, all that kind of stuff in the playoffs. But 8-5, 8-4, 10-3 -- the scores in these games are ridiculous. I don't know what is going on." -- Flyers forward Scott Hartnell

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Penguins and Flyers have gone all 1980s on these Stanley Cup Playoffs, and understanding why we're seeing Oilers-style fire wagon hockey is harder than finding a puck in the back of the net.

"I have no clue," Sidney Crosby was saying after practice in Pittsburgh. "There is no really good explanation. There is a lot of skill and depth on both teams, but there's no real explanation. I don't think anyone can explain it."

There have been 45 goals scored so far in this series. That's a new NHL record for offense through the first four games of a playoff series.

Flyers' Grossmann day-to-day with upper-body injury

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann is day-to-day with an upper-body injury after a hard hit in the first period of Game 4 on Wednesday.

At 11:39 of the second period, Grossmann was hit hard by the Penguins' Tyler Kennedy in the Philadelphia zone. Grossmann skated slowly to the Flyers' bench and remained there, but did return just over a minute later.

However, he only played four shifts in the second period before leaving for good with 9:20 left.

Fleury good enough to keep Pens' season alive

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- His teammates were quick to come to his defense. His coach refused to throw him under the bus. Marc-Andre Fleury's family and close friends were all by his side, too.

Nobody in Fleury's inside circle, inside his world, was blaming him for the 0-3 hole Pittsburgh was in heading into Game 4 Wednesday.

Not his fault, they were saying. We didn't help him out, was the common thread coming out of the Penguins dressing room. Don't point the finger at him, defenseman Brooks Orpik so clearly stated Wednesday morning.

Flyers' goaltending problems surface again

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Last year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers needed three different starting goalies to get through their first-round series.

Ilya Bryzgalov
Goalie - PHI
RECORD: 3-1-0
GAA: 4.95 | SVP: 0.844
There's little chance, barring injury, of that happening again. However, coach Peter Laviolette, for the first time this postseason, replaced starter Ilya Bryzgalov mid-game. Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 18 shots and was removed 3:07 into the second period.

"I think that at that point, Bryz needed to come out," Laviolette said after Wednesday's 10-3 loss to Pittsburgh. "He had seen five goals 22 minutes in and that's enough for him. He's been carrying the load for us. I think it's important for him to come out of that situation and give Bob [Sergei Bobrovsky] an opportunity to go in and battle for us. We have a lot of confidence in Bob as well. To change it up, shake the tree a little bit."

Penalties doom Flyers in Game 4's 10-3 loss

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Through three games of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, the Philadelphia Flyers had touted how proud they were of their ability to stay disciplined and avoid ill-timed or unnecessary penalties.

All of that talk went out the window in a second period that saw them whistled for seven minor penalties, as well as a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct for forward Zac Rinaldo.

For the game, the Flyers were called for 16 penalties totaling 64 minutes -- compared to the Penguins' 10 penalties totaling 36 minutes.

Flyers pull Bryzgalov in 2nd period

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers pulled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov just 3:07 into the second period of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series after he allowed five goals on 18 shots by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky, who started Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Flyers, but played just two games, allowing 10 goals on 81 shots.

Fleury's struggles speak to tension, lack of rhythm

Justin Goldman - Correspondent

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury can't hide from the fact that his play in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers has been nothing short of disastrous.

With only 67 saves on 84 shots, his .798 save percentage reads more like the save percentage from his shootout competitions this season, so to think it reflects his full body of work in these Stanley Cup Playoffs is not only troubling; to some Penguins fans, it may even be a bit nauseating.

As a result, fans and analysts alike are asking the same questions heading into Wednesday's Game 4.

Why has Fleury struggled so severely? Why is a former Stanley Cup winner having such a tough time controlling rebounds and bouncing back from bad goals? Clearly he lacks confidence, but can he revive it in time to stave off elimination?

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