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Aftermath: Flyers 6, Penguins 3

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Flyers opened the game with the kind of intensity and desperation you’d expect from a team with their back against the wall. Philadelphia came out swinging right from the start and netted two goals in the game’s opening six minutes.

The Penguins took the early punch and countered to tie the game early in the second period. However, Philadelphia scored the game’s next three goals. Pittsburgh clawed back with a tally and came inches shy of making it a one-goal game late in the third period.

Though the Flyers prevailed, the Penguins fought back valiantly against a highly juiced team in a hostile environment. Pittsburgh refused to quit and made it an interesting game near the end. The Flyers win gives them some hope in the series but Pittsburgh is still ahead, 2-1, and in control.

The Penguins need to stick with their game plan. It worked well in the first two games and has been the key to their late success. The Penguins will play with some desperation Tuesday in Game 4 because they don’t want to head back to Pittsburgh with the series tied. Expect a real heavy weight fight to ensue. Get your popcorn ready.
(AP) -The Flyers opened to a throwback video from the Stanley Cup glory days, then displayed a quick fuse that showed flashes of the old Broad Street Bullies spirit and revved up the crowd.

The bond with the past and the rowdy home fans gave a nice emotional lift, but it was Jeff Carter and Mike Richards that jolted the offense early and really got Philadelphia back in its playoff series against Pittsburgh.

Carter and Richards scored their first goals of the series early for a sorely needed fast start on home ice. Claude Giroux and Simon Gagne put the Flyers ahead for good in a 6-3 victory over the Penguins on Sunday.

Martin Biron and Bill Guerin watch as the Penguins score their second goal of the game
(photo by Getty)
What Worked Well: Perseverance
The Flyers opened the game with full force and exploded for two early goals but the Penguins didn’t panic. They kept plugging away and eventually evened the score. Philadelphia pushed back by taking a 5-2 lead. Pittsburgh never quit fighting, netting another goal. Though they fell in the contest, the Penguins proved that they will not go down without a fight.

What Could Have Gone Better: Fast Start
The Penguins used a fast start in Game 1 to cruise to a victory. This time it was Philadelphia that came out firing and scored two early goals to jump on Pittsburgh early. The Penguins battled back but never fully recovered from the early onslaught. I expect the Penguins to come out hard to start Game 4.
Evgeni Malkin scored two goals to give him seven postseason points (4G-3A), the best mark in the NHL. Malkin also chipped in with five shots, two hits and 19:18 minutes of ice time.
Flyers sniper Jeff Carter netted his first goal of the playoffs to give Philadelphia the lead three minutes into the game. Joffrey Lupul carried the puck into the Flyers zone and dropped it to Carter, who was flying down the middle. Carter skated in on net and faked a pass before flipping the puck to his backhand and lifting it into the net. Philadelphia 1, Pittsburgh 0.

Philadelphia added to its lead with a power-play score five minutes into the first period. Mike Richards had the puck in the far corner of the Penguins zone. His attempted centering pass was deflected and slipped through Marc-Andre Fleury’s five-hole. Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 0.

The Penguins got on the board in the final seconds of the opening period. Pittsburgh dumped the puck into the far corner of the Flyers zone where Braydon Coburn went to play it. Maxime Talbot delivered a check into Coburn that freed up the puck. Ruslan Fedotenko grabbed it and made a cross-ice pass to Evgeni Malkin, who was in the high slot on the opposite side of the goal. Malkin one-timed the shot between the legs of goaltender Matrin Biron with 11.7 seconds on the clock. While Talbot wasn’t credited with an assist, he created that goal. Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1.

Pittsburgh tied the game 13 seconds into the second period. Rob Scuderi collected the puck at the center point with Bill Guerin in front of the net. Scuderi’s low shot eluded Biron. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 2.

Philadelphia regained the lead on Claude Giroux’s first career postseason goal. Darroll Powe carried the puck into the Pittsburgh zone and released a slap shot on net. Fleury kicked out the rebound to Daniel Briere, who made a beautiful cross-ice pass to Giroux. The rookie re-directed the puck across the goal line. Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2.

The Flyers penalty killing unit tallied their first shorthanded score of the series. Giroux had the puck behind the Penguins net. He slid a cross-crease pass through the outstretched sticks of Sergei Gonchar and Bill Guerin to Simon Gagne, who buried the shot. Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 2.  

The Flyers increased their lead in the third period. Andrew Alberts fired a shot from the near point. The puck hit traffic in front and slid to the opposite side of the crease to Jared Ross. Fleury came sliding across the ice but Ross lifted the puck over his pad and under his arm for the goal. Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 2.

Malkin cut into the Flyers’ lead with a power-play goal eight minutes into the third frame. Malkin had the puck above the near circle. He skated closer to the net before ripping a shot far side, off the post and into the netting. Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 3.

Philadelphia sealed the game with Simon Gagne’s empty-net tally. Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 3.
The bad blood between these two teams is really starting to boil over. Chris Kunitz absolutely destroyed Kimmo Timonen deep in the Philadelphia zone. Timonen flipped upside down and landed on his head/shoulders. Scott Hartnell went after Kunitz and the two sparred in the neutral zone. Later in the opening period, Kris Letang and Darroll Powe fought after some late hitting after a whistle.
> Pittsburgh leads the opening round series over Philadelphia, 2-1, and is 0-1 on the road in the postseason.

> Interim head coach Dan Bylsma dropped his postseason record to 2-1.

> Scoring Summary:
PHI, J.Carter (1), 2:59 1st period: Flyers 1, Penguins 0
PHI, M.Richards PP (1), 5:15 1st period: Flyers 2, Penguins 0
PIT, E.Malkin (3), 19:48 1st period: Flyers 2, Penguins 1
PIT, R.Scuderi (1), 0:13 2nd period: Penguins 2, Flyers 2
PHI, C.Giroux (1), 4:32 2nd period: Flyers 3, Penguins 2
PHI, S.Gagne SH (2), 8:58 2nd period: Flyers 4, Penguins 2
PHI, J.Ross (1), 3:42 3rd period: Flyers 5, Penguins 2
PIT, E.Malkin PP (4), 8:30 3rd period: Flyers 5, Penguins 3
PHI, S.Gagne EN (3), 18:24 3rd period: Flyers 6, Penguins 3

> Evgeni Malkin, the NHL’s scoring champion, registered two goals and now has seven playoff points (4G-3A), the most in the league.

> Sidney Crosby notched two assists for his fifth point of the postseason (1G-4A).

> Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in the losing effort and is 6-2 lifetime against Philadelphia in postseason play.

> Rob Scuderi scored his first career postseason goal.

> Sergei Gonchar tallied his fourth assist of the playoffs.
1. C.Giroux, PHI
2. S.Gagne, PHI
3. E.Malkin, PIT
"They got up on us early and we were coming from behidn the
whole game. Right from the beginning we were put behind
the eight-ball."
- Dan Bylsma


Author: Sam Kasan

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