The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins via shootout, 2-1 (2-1), at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night.
After a scoreless first period, Sidney Crosby (17th goal of the season) put the Penguins ahead early in the second; the lone goal of a wide-open middle frame that was a stark contrast to a cautiously played opening 20 minutes. Jakub Voracek (8th) tied the game less than 90 seconds into the third period for the only goal by either team. In the shootout, a successful attempt by Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel was topped by tallies from Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.
Carter Hart stopped 30 of 31 shots in regulation and overtime. He then stopped 2 of 3 in the shootout. Tristan Jarry denied 26 of 27 Flyers shots in regulation and overtime. He was 0-for-2 in the shootout.
The Flyers went 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Penguins dominated overtime, with Hart coming up big with four saves. Finally, with 1:57 left, Crosby tripped Sean Couturier to create a 4-on-3 power play for the Flyers. The Flyers were unable to take advantage, going to a shootout. In the shootout:
1st Round: Jake Guentzel beat Hart through the five hole after getting him to open up. Claude Giroux scored after going forehand-backhand-forehand around Jarry.
2nd Round: Sidney Crosby was denied by Hart's glove. Sean Couturier scored on a west-to-east backhander.
3rd Round: Hart made a glove save on Kris Letang to end the game.
1) The first period was a rather low-event frame. Shots were 5-3 in the Flyers' favor. Philly also blocked four shots while the Penguins blocked two. Hart's saves came off Brian Dumoulin, Teddy Blueger and Kris Letang, tracking the puck through traffic but nothing out of the ordinary. Robert Hägg was credited with four hits.
2) An early puckhandling gaffe by Hart led to a scoring opportunity for Jeff Carter. At the other end of the ice, Wade Allison set up a high-danger chance for Oskar Lindblom; the best look at the net for either team in the first period apart from a Sidney Crosby shot out of play after beating Justin Braun off the rush.
The Flyers first power play of the game never got organized, and gave way to a Pittsburgh power play on a counterattack in the waning moments. Ivan Provorov was forced to take a hooking penalty to slow down Brian Dumoulin. The Flyers, however, did a good job on both penalty kills in the first period.
3) After a sleepy first period, the Penguins dialed up the pressure right off the bat in the second period. Hart had to make a tough stop on Jeff Carter in the opening minute. The Flyers finally cleared a loose puck. At 5:04, Crosby made it 1-0. In the Pittsburgh zone, Crosby gave a stick to Dumoulin, retrieved a new one from the bench, went to the other end and scored as he beat Nolan Patrick to the net. Hart missed a poke at the puck as a puck that Kris Letang put at the net dribbled in on him. Later, Hart made a tough save on Jake Guentzel off a pass from Crosby. Crosby subsequently led a 2-on-1 rush and elected to shoot, with Hart making the save.
4) Second period shots were 16-13 in Pittsburgh's favor. The Flyers second power play was executed much better than their 5-on-4 in the first period but still could not bag a goal. The best chance was by Allison, who bunted a puck from his shinpad to his stick near the net but was stuffed at the left post by Jarry. Allison was also the catalyst in a scramble around the net and a backhander upstairs attempt from near the right post.
5) After a good keep by Myers, the defenseman had a shot blocked. Voracek picked it up, slated to the hash marks, used Mike Matheson as a screen and scored through the five hole at :124. The Penguins generated pressure -- and another 2-on-1 rush among other chances -- in the minutes that followed. There was a scary moment as a Myers shot caught Nolan Patrick in the side of his head around his ear. Patrick had to be helped up the tunnel, as both teams tapped their sticks. Later, Hart had to make a 10-bell save moving across to rob Evan Rodrigues with about seven minutes left in regulation. The Penguins had five odd-man rushes for the game through regulation.
With 2:52 left on the clock, Travis Konecny was called for holding in the Flyers' defensive zone. Two key shot blocks keyed a successful kill. With 31.5 second left, Joel Farabee's stick came up and caught Rodrigues. The officials conferred but no penalty call resulted. After a very late whistle for a faceoff violation on a right circle offensive zone draw won by Claude Giroux, Kevin Hayes stepped in to take (and win) his first faceoff of the game.