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Aftermath: Penguins 3, Flyers 2 OT

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
  
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QUICK ANALYSIS
 
The Penguins were known for their dramatic come-from-behind victories during the regular season. They found that charm once again Friday night to take a 2-0 series lead over the Flyers as the contest shifts to Philadelphia for the next two games.

Pittsburgh’s power play, which was criticized during the regular season, is flourishing in postseason play and delivered two scores and the win for the Penguins. Once the Flyers gained a 2-1 lead in the third period, they sat on their lead and tried to bleed the clock. The Penguins kept charging and forced Philadelphia to take a late penalty.

The Penguins tied the game with a “dirty goal” that deflected off of two players and into the Flyers net (credited to Evgeni Malkin) to force overtime. Philadelphia was on their own power play in the extra session when Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen took back-to-back penalties to give the Penguins a five-on-three advantage. Bill Guerin buried the game-winning goal to complete the comeback.

The psychological effects of this game will weigh heavy on the Flyers. They were four minutes from getting a split before returning home and it all crumbled. Philadelphia is a team full of fight. Don’t expect them to lie down. The Flyers are a desperate team and will come out with every thing they’ve got in Game 3. Their season depends on it.

Penguins interim head coach Dan Bylsma’s philosophy is that playoffs are a race to four. Pittsburgh is off and running at two.
 
WHAT HAPPENED
 
(AP) - Bill Guerin scored his second goal of the game after Pittsburgh went on a rare two-man advantage in overtime, and the Penguins went up two games in their first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, winning 3-2 on Friday night.

Guerin, at 38 the oldest player on a mostly young team, took Sergei Gonchar's pass from center point and skated toward the net from the low left circle, faked a pass and beat goalie Martin Biron on a shot that deflected off the left post and into the net 18:29 into overtime.

Guerin also scored the goal that tied it at 1-1 late in the second period, and Evgeni Malkin tied it at 2-2 with 3:37 remaining in the third after rookie Darroll Powe's goal put the determined Flyers up early in the period.
 
SHOT OF THE NIGHT

Bill Guerin celebrates the game-winning overtime goal with Chris Kunitz (photo by Getty)
ESSENTIALS
 
What Worked Well: Power Surge
Pittsburgh’s power play came through for the team with a clutch, late tally to send the game into overtime. The Penguins kept pressuring Philadelphia, which looked content to sit on the lead, and their efforts were rewarded with a man-advantage opportunity. The Penguins cashed in again in overtime with a five-on-three chance that sealed the victory.

What Could Have Gone Better: Scoring Early
The Penguins dominated the early portion of the game, leading in shots, hits and scoring chances, but came up empty. They hit the post twice and came up just short on a number of occasions. Pittsburgh didn't get an early lead but they gained a lot of momentum, and when you play that well, eventually the puck will go in the goal. 
 
DIFFERENCE MAKER
 
Getty Images
Marc-Andre Fleury played a phenomenal game. He made the “save of the season” on the second-best sniper in the NHL, Jeff Carter, late in the third period with the Flyers leading 2-1. Carter carried the puck into Pittsburgh’s zone with Joffrey Lupul for a two-on-one. On Carter’s attempted cross-ice pass, Fleury slid to his left. However, the puck was blocked by Sergei Gonchar and went back to Carter, who had a wide-open net and could have ended the game. Fleury reached back and made a split toe save. Pittsburgh tied the game minutes later.

Fleury also made two huge saves in the first period to keep the game at a one-goal deficit. Carter had a clear shot down the far lane and ripped a shot that Fleury smothered. Then Fleury stopped a shot from Arron Asham in the high slot. He finished the game with 38 saves.

HONORABLE MENTION: Bill Guerin scored two goals, including the game-winning overtime tally to lift the Penguins over the Flyers. He had a game-high eight shots, two hits and a plus-1 rating. But Guerin’s winning goal couldn’t have been possible without Fleury’s play.
 
SCORING SYNOPSIS
 
The Flyers took their first lead of the series with a power-play goal 13 minutes into the first period. Matt Carle took a slap shot on net from above the near circle. Scott Hartnell, positioned in front of the net, re-directed the puck through Marc-Andre Fleury’s five-hole. Philadelphia 1, Pittsburgh 0.

The Penguins tied the game with a late goal in the second off of the stick of Bill Guerin. Sidney Crosby picked up a Philadelphia turnover in the Penguins zone and pushed the puck ahead to Evgeni Malkin for a three-on-two advantage. Malkin entered the zone and slipped a cross-ice pass through the outstretched stick of Simon Gagne and right to Guerin in the near circle. Guerin bulleted a shot near side past the blocker of Martin Biron. Pittsburgh 1, Philadelphia 1.  

Getty Images
The Flyers retook the lead with a tally early in the third period. Claude Giroux carried the puck into the Pittsburgh zone and dished it to Darroll Powe above the far faceoff dot. Powe drilled a shot far side past Fleury. Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1.

The Penguins tied the game late in the third period with a clutch power-play goal. Malkin and Guerin where stationed in front of the goal when Kris Letang took a slap shot. The puck deflected off of Braydon Coburn, and then off of Malkin’s skate and into the goal. Jordan Staal deserves credit for drawing the late penalty. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 2.

Guerin and Pittsburgh’s power play struck again, this time for the game-winning overtime goal. The Penguins had a rare three-on-two opportunity when Sergei Gonchar fed the puck to Guerin at the near corner. Guerin went hard to the net, faked a pass, and flipped a shot off the near post and into the net. Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 2.
 
INTRIGUING NOTABLES
 
Interim head coach Dan Bylsma once again used Jordan Staal opposite Philadelphia sniper Jeff Carter. Every time Carter stepped on the ice, Staal was all over him. Carter ended the game with no goals, no points and took a critical penalty when he hooked Staal late in the third period, which led to Pittsburgh’s late game-tying goal.

The Penguins started the game in full force. They registered 15 hits in the first 10 minutes of the game. Brooks Orpik destroyed Joffrey Lupul along the Penguins bench and Chris Kunitz was a one-man wrecking ball.

After the opening minutes, the remainder of the game looked pretty sloppy. Both teams weren’t handling the puck well and seemed out of sync. The game didn’t have much flow to it.

Much credit is deserved by the Penguins penalty killers. With one of their best PK men, Hal Gill, in the box in overtime, Pittsburgh not only killed the penalty but drew an even-up call. Sergei Gonchar filled in admirably in Gill’s absence.
 
GAME NOTES
 
> Pittsburgh leads the opening round series over Philadelphia, 2-0, and is 2-0 at Mellon Arena in the postseason.

> Interim head coach Dan Bylsma improved his postseason record to 2-0.

> Pittsburgh outhit Philadelphia, 50-29, beat them in the faceoff circle for the second straight game (54 percent).

> The last Pittsburgh overtime postseason game was the Penguins’ thrilling three-overtime affair in Game 5 of last season’s Stanley Cup Final. The last time the Penguins and Flyers met in overtime in the playoffs was May 4, 2000, the memorable five overtime battle.

> Scoring Summary:
PHI, S.Hartnell PP (1), 13:26 1st period: Flyers 1, Penguins 0
PIT, B.Guerin (1), 16:38 2nd period: Penguins 1, Flyers 1
PHI, D.Powe (1), 2:09 3rd period: Flyers 2, Penguins 1
PIT, E.Malkin PP (2), 16:23 3rd period: Penguins 2, Flyers 2
PIT, B.Guerin PP (2), 18:29 OT: Penguins 3, Flyers 2

> Evgeni Malkin, the NHL’s scoring champion, registered a goal and two assists and now has five playoff points (2G-3A).

> Sidney Crosby notched an assist for his third point of the postseason (1G-2A).

> Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves in the victory. Fleury has a 3-0 mark in playoff overtime sessions in his career and is 6-1 lifetime against Philadelphia in postseason play.

> Bill Guerin scored his first two goals of the postseason, including the game-winning overtime score. He has 30 career postseason goals. Guerin also had a team-high eight shots.

> Brooks Orpik had a game-high 14 hits.

> Mellon Arena sold out for the 109th straight game with a standing room only attendance of 17,132. The Penguins have sold out every game in the past two seasons. Pittsburgh is 71-29-9 in during that span.
 
THREE STARS QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
   
1. B.Guerin, PIT
2. E.Malkin, PIT
3. M.Biron, PHI
“The playoffs are all about timely scoring and individual plays that
turn the momentum ... We were tested, but our team stayed
with it, we stayed in the plan.”
- Dan Bylsma
 

 



Author: Sam Kasan

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