|The Penguins started the game strong in the opening minutes, generating a lot of scoring chances. But two Flyers’ goals 31 seconds apart killed Pittsburgh’s momentum and the Penguins were never able to claw out of the hole. |
Pittsburgh kept inching closer and closer, but every time Philadelphia managed to score to keep the Penguins at a distance. The Flyers generated a number of odd-man rushes and, with their skill, managed to break through with seven goals.
The Penguins still lead the season series with a 3-1 mark against Philadelphia.
|WHAT HAPPENED |
|PITTSBURGH (AP) - James van Riemsdyk and Jeff Carter scored two goals each, Matt Carle had a goal and two assists, and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time in four games this season by winning 7-4 on Thursday night. |
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT |
Sidney Crosby celebrates one of his two goals agaisnt the Flyers
(photo by Getty)
|What Went Well: Tenacity |
Pittsburgh played a strong game in all the little areas: taking the body, being physical and paying the price for loose pucks. The Penguins outhit the Flyers, 36-31, in the contest. Despite falling behind, Pittsburgh played hard and battled until the final whistle - registering 19 shots in the third period alone.
What Could Have Gone Better: Special Teams
The Penguins penalty killing units, which rank among the best in the NHL, surrendered two scores to Philadelphia – one of which was a back breaker in the first period. In contrast, Pittsburgh’s power play went 0 for 3.
|Sidney Crosby put together a solid performance. He scored two goals, posted five shots, logged 23:24 minutes of ice time and won 62 percent of his faceoffs (18-11). |
|SCORING SYNOPSIS |
|The Flyers notched the game’s opening goal with a power-play score. Jeff Carter collected a pass between the circles, spun around and snapped a shot into the goal. Philadelphia 1, Pittsburgh 0. |
Philadelphia added to its lead with another score 31 seconds after its opening tally. The Flyers used a turnover in their own zone and a quick transition attack to create a two-on-one. Arron Asham sprung James van Riemsdyk on a breakaway. The Flyers rookie sneaked a shot through Marc-Andre Fleury’s five-hole. Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 0.
The Penguins cut into the Flyers’ lead on Sidney Crosby’s 25th goal of the season. Kris Letang took a slap shot from the right point that was stopped by netminder Michael Leighton. The rebound slid into the high slot where Crosby ripped a shot into the far corner of the net. Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1.
Philadelphia added a late first-period power-play goal to take a 3-1 lead. Matt Carle one-timed a shot from above the far circle that eluded Fleury. Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 1.
The Penguins pulled to within a goal as Matt Cooke’s shot from edge of the near circle skidded through Leighton’s five-hole for a score with just 55.3 seconds left in the first frame. Jordan Staal helped jumpstart the play with a strong move on net. The puck was knocked off his stick but was retrieved by Cooke, who buried his eighth of the year. Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2.
The Flyers scored their fourth goal of the game 1:42 into the second period. Chris Pronger’s shot from the near point sailed into the far side of the cage. The Penguins replaced Fleury with Brent Johnson at that point. Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 2.
Van Riemsdyk scored his second of the game – again on a breakaway – to give Philadelphia a 5-2 lead. Van Riemsdyk retrieved Asham’s dump off the boards in the Penguins zone for the breakaway, and went five-hole on Johnson for the tally. Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 2.
Crosby scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season and second of the game halfway through the second period. Evgeni Malkin hit Crosby streaking down the near side. Crosby made a move around the net and his centering pass deflected off of Kimmo Timonen and into the goal. Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 3.
Carter’s second of the game sealed the outcome in favor of the Flyers. He took a cross-ice pass from Danny Briere in the near circle and lifted a snap shot into the top corner of the net. Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 3.
Pittsburgh added some late dramatics with a goal with just under eight minutes to go in regulation. Mike Rupp collected a pass between the circles, turned the puck over and threw a shot far side into the net. Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 4.
Mike Richards closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal with 31.3 seconds left in the game. Philadelphia 7, Pittsburgh 4.
|INTRIGUING NOTABLES |
|Defenseman Sergei Gonchar missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury. |
The Penguins held a collection to support the Penn Hills Police Fallen Heroes Fund prior to the game. The family of Officer Michael Crawshaw, who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 6, was in attendance and received a standing ovation from the Mellon Arena crowd.
|GAME NOTES |
|> Pittsburgh dropped to 27-17-1 on the season with a 14-8-1 mark at Mellon Arena. |
> Scoring Summary:
PHI, J.Carter PP (15), 6:39 1st period: Flyers 1, Penguins 0
PHI, J.Van Riemsdyk (9), 7:10 1st period: Flyers 2, Penguins 0
PIT, S.Crosby (25), 8:25 1st period: Flyers 2, Penguins 1
PHI, M.Carle PP (3), 16:51 1st period: Flyers 3, Penguins 1
PIT, M.Cooke (8), 19:04 1st period: Flyers 3, Penguins 2
PHI, C.Pronger (6), 1:42 2nd period: Flyers 4, Penguins 2
PHI, J.Van Riemsdyk (10), 2:56 2nd period: Flyers 5, Penguins 2
PIT, S.Crosby (26), 10:32 2nd period: Flyers 5, Penguins 3
PHI, J.Carter (16), 9:26 2nd period: Flyers 6, Penguins 3
PIT, M.Rupp (11), 12:08 2nd period: Flyers 6, Penguins 4
PHI, M.Richards (19), 19:28 3rd period: Flyers 7, Penguins 4
> The Penguins are now 45-20-5 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 24-9-2 at Mellon Arena.
> Sidney Crosby scored his team-leading 25th and 26th goals of the season. He has 14 goals and 26 points in his last 18 games, and 30 points (16G-14A) in his past 22.
> Matt Cooke scored a goal and has a three-game point streak (1G-2A).
> Mike Rupp scored his 11th goal of the year.
> Luca Caputi recorded his first career NHL assist.
> Evgeni Malkin notched two assists. He has three assists in his last two games.
|THREE STARS ||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT |
| || |
|1. J.Van Riemsdyk |
|"I have to make sure I am doing the right thing. If everybody does that then we will be ok." |
- Bill Guerin