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POSTGAME 5: Exhibit A+

Flyers down rival Pens, 3-2 in OT in exhibition game before Round Robin

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

In their lone exhibition game before the start of the Eastern Conference playoff seeding round-robin, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2 in overtime at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Tuesday.

Conor Sheary opened the scoring, going upstairs after receiving a cross-ice pass from Jake Guentzel on a 3-on-2 rush. The Flyers drew even as Sean Couturier took a pass from Claude Giroux and scored off defender Marcus Pettersson on a delayed penalty. Philly took a 2-1 lead to intermission after Kevin Hayes collected an Evgeni Malkin turnover and scored on the backhand at 19:31.

After a scoreless second period. Jason Zucker tied the game at 2-2 in a multi-shot scramble at 16:05. In overtime, Laughton scored to win the game at 2:40.

Carter Hart started in goal, playing the first two periods, while Brian Elliott went the rest of the way, stopping 13 of 14 shots. Matt Murray started for Pittsburgh, playing 29:55 and stopped 10 of 12 shots, while Tristan Jarry finished and denied 9 of 10 shots.

Video: PIT@PHI: Couturier nets feed in front

 

TURNING POINT

A gorgeous pass from Travis Konecny to Laughton sprung him for a semi-breakaway and the game-winner.

Video: PIT@PHI: Hayes steals puck, scores to break tie

MELTZER'S TAKE

1) With the exception of the top line getting caught on a 3-on-2 rush that ended up in their net and a couple neutral zone turnovers that did result in any damage, the Flyers were significantly the better team in the opening period. Philly was credited with eight of the first 11 shots (10-6 overall) and six of the first seven hits (8-5 overall). The Flyers also staged a strong penalty kill. Shortly before Hayes intercepted an ill-advised Malkin pass up the middle, Travis Sanheim broke up a dangerous play in the Flyers zone. Philadelphia was also credited with three takeaways to none for Pittsburgh.

2) Shots were 6-6 in the scoreless second period. The most noticeable difference was on special teams. The Flyers killed their second penalty of the game with authority. Hayes' puck-ragging work highlighted the kill. When Philadelphia went on its first power play, both PP1 and PP2 generated crisp puck movement and heavy pressure but could not add to the lead. The Penguins survived a scare when defenseman Brian Dumoulin painfully struggled to get off after blocking a puck off his foot. He eventually shook it off.

At the other end of the ice, Hart settled in nicely when tested.

3) The 3rd period got scrambly on both sides, and the Flyers struggled to generate much sustained offense as they got outshot, 12-4. Philly staged its third straight strong PK of the game (on a somewhat marginal high-stick called on Jakub Voracek). Kevin Hayes had a good opportunity for his second goal of the game. Elliott made three tough saves on Malkin, including a point blank stop off a backhander. Finally, Malkin started the sequence that ended with a third-opportunity goal for Pittsburgh, scored by Zucker.

4) In OT, Jarry stoned Hayes one-on-one after he was sprung by Giroux on a breakaway. At the other end of the ice, the Penguins had several looks of their own. Finally,

5) Defense prospect Egor Zamula, with the exception of one bad turnover in the third period held his own against the Penguins. He skated well. He passed well. He showed a quick stick. He also willingly engaged physically, despite giving up considerable muscle on his lanky frame.

Video: PIT@PHI: Laughton roofs OT winner

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

* Seven players found the scoresheet for the Flyers... All five goals in the game were scored at even strength.

* Kevin Hayes provided a goal and led the team with five shots on goal.

* The Flyers outshot the Pens, 10-6 in the first period and the Pens outshot the Flyers 12-3 in the third period.

* Scott Laughton scored the game-winning goal in overtime - it was his first career overtime goal in the NHL... He had three hits and logged 16:21 of ice time.

* Ivan Provorov logged the most minutes of any player in the game at 25:39 and was a +2.

* Carter Hart played 40 minutes (the first two periods) and stopped 11 of 12 shots, while Brian Elliott played the third and overtime, stopping 13 of 14 shots including two in overtime.

* The Flyers went 0-for-1 on the power play, and a 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

* The Flyers now face the Boston Bruins in the first Round Robin game on Sunday, Aug. 2 (3 p.m. on NBC).

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