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FLY-BY: A Wild Win

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

  Laviolette    Jagr     Giroux     Briere    Talbot
Flyers PA announcer Lou Nolan was a busy man today. The Flyers and Penguins rivalry and series found another level to it... The teams combined for 74 penalty minutes in the first period alone… In a game where every single whistle rarely lacked a scrum afterwards, the final scoresheet yielded 158 PIM's with 89 of them going to the Penguins and 69 going to the Flyers.

If there's another side to the hype that has been lived up to in this series its the raw offensive talent and capilities that each team possesses. The Flyers have now posted back-to-back eight-goal games and overall have recorded a franchise record 20 goals through the first three games, while the Penguins have recorded 12 goals to bring the series total to 32 goals in three games, averaging a whopping 10.6 goals per game.

The Flyers special teams continued to dominate the Penguins special teams… The Flyers went 57 percent on the power-play, while shutting down the Pens power-plays four out of their five opportunities on the night… Not only did they limit the Pens on their man-advantage, but they capitalized on them as well, scoring a shorthanded goal as well… In the series, the Flyers now have six goals on the power play, going 7-for-11, and have a League-best four goals shorthanded. Overall, 10 of the Flyers 20 goals have been on special teams.

Maxime Talbot's three goals are more than of his ex-teammates Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the series combined… Crosby does lead the Penguins with five points in the three-game series thus far (2G-3A) along with James Neal, who also has a pair of goals and three assists while Malkin has four points all of which are assists.

Claude Giroux leads all NHL players with eight points (4G-4A), while Danny Briere (4G-1A), Brayden Schenn (2G-3A) and Jaromir Jagr (1G,4A) all have five points on a Flyers lineup that has nine players who have averaged a point-per game so far.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was quick to point out that the team's focus continues to be on each upcoming game and nothing more…

"We went into Game One, we were expecting to win. I think that there is confidence in our group and how we play the game and then you roll over into the next day and eventually over a body of work you get somewhere.  I don’t think anybody, I can’t speak for everybody else, I didn’t go to bed dreaming about being up 3-0.  I think you come in and try to do the right things to win one game.  So, that’s where we are at right now.”
The Flyers will be looking for their first sweep of a playoff series since 1995 when they beat the New York Rangers in four straight in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and just their 11th sweep in franchise history.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Flyers have set a new franchise record for most goals scored in the first three games of a playoff series (20).  The previous record of 17 was set during the 1980 Semifinals vs. Minnesota – a 6-5 loss in Game 1, a 7-0 win in Game 2 and a 5-3 win in game 3.
The Flyers also set a franchise record for most goals in two consecutive playoff games.  The closest previous occasion was the 1981 preliminary round, when they beat Quebec 6-4 in Game 1 and 8-5 in Game 2. 

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the last NHL team to score eight or more goals in two consecutive playoff games was the Los Angeles Kings in 1993 when they scored nine goals against Calgary on April 27 and 29, 1993.
Per Elias, the last time the Flyers had three power play goals in a playoff game was Game 5 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Buffalo on April 20, 2000 (5-2 W).
Danny Briere picked up his 100th career playoff point today in his 100th career playoff game.  He now has 46 goals and 55 assists for 101 points in 100 games.
Braydon Coburn led all players with 27:25 of ice time and also all players with six hits.

Claude Giroux leads the NHL in playoff scoring with eight points in three games... In his Flyers career, Giroux now has 46 points in 43 games.

Danny Briere
Danny Briere recorded back-to-back goals in today's game to earn his 100th playoff point in his career.

Briere picked up his first goal after taking a great cross-ice pass on the power play from Scott Hartnell and firing it past the diving Fleury.

Briere's second came on a picture perfect 3-on-2 where he drove to the net and redirected a pass from Simmonds.

He added an assist for a three-point game, all in the first period

"It's awesome. It's playoff hockey. You can see how hard everyone is competing and the hatred between these two teams, it's a lot of fun."
- Brayden Schenn

“I thought the first two games in Pittsburgh were crazy, but this one was even wilder. Once again, coming up on top is a really good feeling.”
- Danny Briere

"If there's a team that can come back from 3-0 this year I think it's them so we need to understand that, we need to make sure that we're focused for Wednesday. Our fans tonight were unbelievable. It was the best I've seen since I'm here and just the boost they gave us was pretty unbelievable."
- Claude Giroux
Today's turning point came on the stick of Wayne Simmonds late in the second period.

The Penguins opened the scoring but fell down by two goals on two occasions and fought their way back to bring the game within striking distance to tie the game up.

Wayne Simmonds ended that once and for all after he took a long pass from Braydon Coburn and fought off a Pens defender to go in all-alone on Marc-Andre Fleury.

Simmonds dragged the puck to his backhand, slid it past Fleury to give the Flyers a 6-4 lead with 46 seconds left in the second period and kill any notion of the Penguins going into intermission trailing by just one goal.

The Flyers would shut the door in the third period, while adding two more goals to walk away with an 8-4 win.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Giroux and Crosby face off against each other in Game 3   

Flyers 8, Penguins 4
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Fists were flying faster than shots on goal. Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux even became knotted in the pushing, pulling and shoving, a pair of superstars willing to mix it up to prove which team was the baddest on the ice and the scoreboard.

The Penguins and Flyers talked trash, laid the smack down, and played one wildly entertaining game. The result was still the same. The Flyers rallied from another early deficit for a decisive Game 3 victory that placed them on the brink of an improbable sweep.


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