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game recap

Flyers defeat Penguins in OT, gain in Eastern wild-card race

Couturier wins game with 3.4 seconds left after van Riemsdyk ties it late in third

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

Couturier's winner in overtime

PHI@PIT: Couturier pots game-winner late in overtime

Sean Couturier speeds into the zone and snaps a wrister past Matt Murray to seal the Flyers' 2-1 win in the final seconds of overtime

  • 00:52 •

PITTSBURGH -- Sean Couturier scored with 3.4 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

Travis Konecny set up James van Riemsdyk's 25th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1 with 19 seconds remaining in the third period before Couturier scored on the rush from the right face-off circle in overtime.

"I kind of knew there was a bit of time left," Couturier said. "We went for the draw, there was 20 or 30 seconds left. So I kind of knew there was some time left. I was more worried, I had my back turned to the play, [that Sidney] Crosby could've just stepped me up or went the other way, but thankfully got a chip by him and got a good goal there."


[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Penguins highlights]


Carter Hart made 41 saves for the Flyers (35-29-8), who had lost two games in a row after going 6-1-1 in their previous eight. They are six points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Matt Murray made 36 saves, and Teddy Blueger scored for the Penguins (39-24-10), who have lost two straight after going 6-1-1 in their previous eight. They are in third place in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals and three points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, who hold the first Eastern wild card.

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Couturier seals Flyers win

"Tonight, we needed to defend harder," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "We didn't have numbers back [when Hart was pulled for an extra skater in the third], and we should have had numbers back. ... We're obviously disappointed tonight. We didn't close it out. We had a pretty good chance to do it."

Sullivan said forward Evgeni Malkin is week to week with an upper-body injury after he was a late scratch. Malkin was injured in a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

The Flyers had a similar comeback against the Penguins in the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series in Philadelphia on Feb. 23, when van Riemsdyk scored with 3:04 remaining in the third before Jakub Voracek tied it 3-3 with 20 seconds left. Claude Giroux scored 1:59 into overtime for a 4-3 win.

"These games are always fun to play in," van Riemsdyk said. "They always seem to be back-and-forth. No lead is ever safe, it seems like. We're happy to come up on the right side of this one, but certainly these games have been hard-fought and it's taken almost a full 65 minutes for most of them."

Video: PHI@PIT: van Riemsdyk ties game in final minute

Blueger gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 2:07 of the third period with a wrist shot off the rebound of a Phil Kessel shot. The 24-year-old rookie took Malkin's place as Pittsburgh's second-line center, with Bryan Rust and Phil Kessel on the wings.

Giroux scored for the Flyers at 1:11 of the second period, but it was waved off for goaltender interference by Voracek. Philadelphia coach Scott Gordon challenged, and the call on the ice was overturned after video review. But Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan challenged that the play was offside, and the goal was overturned after video review showed Voracek entered the zone ahead of the puck.


They said it

"For us to come back like that in the third period, it feels like we've almost done it in every game against these guys. ... It's the kind of game there where we battled back in the third period, really took it to them in the third. ... We came out in the third and just played our game, played hard, and fired everything to the net. Eventually, one was going to go in." -- Flyers goalie Carter Hart

"When you have a one-goal lead, it's hard in this league. We played a really good game over a long stretch, and then they find a way there in the end to get one on the 6-on-5. ... Overall, a great game from our side. The result, obviously not great." -- Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist


Need to know

Giroux played after being held out of the morning skate with an illness. He has played 257 consecutive games. ... Flyers forward Ryan Hartman, who missed a 7-6 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday with an illness, had two shots on goal and two hits in 6:04 of ice time. ... Rust returned after missing nine games because of a lower-body injury. ... Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was sidelined for the 11th straight game because of an upper-body injury. Sullivan said Letang would travel on Pittsburgh's upcoming four-game road trip. ... Forward Phil Kessel tied Craig Adams for the most consecutive games played in Penguins history (319). ... Pittsburgh forward Dominik Simon played his 100th NHL game.


What's next

Flyers: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, FS-CR, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: Flyers rally late to top Penguins in OT, 2-1

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