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FLY-BY: On to the next one

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers got on the Pens early, scoring within the game's first 32 seconds. Following that however, the Penguins jumped on the Flyers and out-shot them by a 6-1 margin through first 10 minutes of the game… The Flyers weren't about to let momentum slip away and through final 10 minutes came back to take a lead in shots, 10-9 and 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Flyers made a statement that they were in it to play all 60 no matter what it took. And what they produced was five goals and a total of 40 blocked shots, compared to the Penguins 14 in Game Six… Rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson blocked a game-high seven shots, followed by Lilja, Coburn and Matt Carle blocking six shots each… Overall the Flyers defense accounted for 30 blocked shots.

While the Flyers defense blocked 30 shots, so too did the man between the pipes. Ilya Bryzgalov put forth his best effort of the series, stopping 30 of 31 shots, most of which were key saves at key times to shut the door on the Penguins… Bryzgalov stopped three shots from Crosby, all four shots from James Neal and five of six shots from Evgeni Malkin.

Claude Giroux had three points on the day and made a statement early on with his big hit on Sidney Crosby and giving the Flyers the early lead with his goal 32 seconds into the game… Giroux finished the series with 14 points (6G-8A) and a +6 rating, while Crosby was held scoreless for the second straight game and finished the series with eight points (3G-5A) and a -3 rating.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette tipped his hat to his entire team and the way they responded with today's victory...

"I thought today was probably our best team game.  You look at the sheet and at the end of the night, when you see 40 blocked shots, you know that there’s a team that’s committed to something, that wants to get to the next round. Offensively, we got the chances and the looks that we wanted to, but the big thing for me was defense because that’s a talented group.  I think that’s why a lot of teams – a lot of people liked Pittsburgh because they’re highly talented, they scored a lot of goals, that type of personnel.  So defensively, to come in with a game like we did today, was just a really good job, not by one player or two players but by all players.”
The Flyers are now 54-41 all-time in playoff series and advance out of the first round for the 22nd time, and third year in a row.  This was their first series win over Pittsburgh since the 2000 Conference Semifinal.
Claude Giroux finished the series with 14 points, becoming just the second Flyer ever to reach that total in a single playoff series.  The Flyers franchise record is 15 points, established by Tim Kerr in the 1989 Patrick Division Semifinals with 10 goals and 5 assists, also against Pittsburgh.  
The last NHL player to post 14 or more points in a playoff series was Sidney Crosby in the first round in 2009-10.
The Flyers blocked 40 shots tonight, with Erik Gustafsson leading the way with seven.  Andreas Lilja and Matt Carle had six apiece.  The Flyers’ season high for blocked shots during the regular season was 28 vs. New Jersey on Nov. 3.  It’s the most by any NHL team in a playoff game since Montreal blocked 41 at Washington on April 28, 2010.
Sean Couturier was 9-for-12 in the faceoff circle today.

The Flyers had 12 power play goals in the series, breaking the franchise record of 11 set in the 1989 Division Finals against Pittsburgh.
The Flyers had 30 goals in the series, which sets a new franchise record for goals in a six-game series.  The previous record was 26 in the 1996 ECQF vs. Tampa Bay.
The 26 goals scored by the Penguins tied the Flyers franchise record for goals allowed in a six-game series.  The New York Islanders scored 26 goals in the 1980 Finals. 
Claude Giroux
Giroux said before the game he wanted to be in on the starting face-off. Peter Laviolette granted him that wish and wisely so.

Giroux landed a big hit on Penguins star Sidney Crosby, delivered the first goal of the day and provided assists on the next two Flyers goals for a three-point night.

Overall Giroux recorded five shots, two blocked shots, had a +2 rating and nearly 25 minutes of ice-time (24:48) to lead his team to a Game 6 victory.

"This was pretty wild. Pretty good feeling to win. I'm proud of how everybody responded today for such a young team.  I know we have a lot of veterans, but for such a young team to respond the way we did today after pressure was building up… so many guys sacrificed their bodies today."
- Danny Briere

“Let’s enjoy this for a moment and let’s…I don’t really care who we play against but, we’re a little banged up so I’m sure we can take these couple of days off and make sure we heal and whoever comes, comes. We earned and will enjoy this moment for tonight and then we move on.”
- Kimmo Timonen

"Claude called it for me before the start of the game. He said I'm going to have a great first shift. I didn't know what it meant and he was physical and he scored a goal so that's what a leader would do. Claude definitely set up the tone early for us tonight."
- Max Talbot
Tonight's turning point came on goals 34 seconds apart, but not by both teams.

After the Flyers took a 3-0 lead in the game, the Pens found the back of the net off a goal by Evgeni Malkin to close within two goals and significant time left in the second period and the game.

The Flyers answered right back with a goal from Danny Briere that snuck past Marc-Andre Fleury to give them a 4-1 lead which held up through the end of the second period.

The Flyers would add an empty-netter but wouldn't need it as they shut the door in the third period and closed out the Penguins to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby shake hands following the series.   

Flyers 5, Penguins 1
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- There will not be a Game 7. Claude Giroux and Ilya Bryzgalov made sure of it Sunday afternoon.

Giroux had a goal and two assists, and Bryzgalov made 30 saves in his best performance of the playoffs to help Philadelphia become the first team to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Wells Fargo Center.


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