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Aftermath: Penguins 5, Flyers 4

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

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One night after a less than stellar performance against the Coyotes, Pittsburgh stormed out of the gates against the Flyers. Using all five players, especially in the offensive zone where the defensemen did a great job pinching the boards and keeping the puck down below the Flyers’ net. It also helped scoring a power-play goal 48 seconds into the game courtesy of Evgeni Malkin, limiting the energy of the Flyers’ faithful.

Philadelphia didn’t help themselves in an eventual one-goal game, as a couple mental mistakes resulted in two Penguin goals. First, the Flyers made a wholesale change despite not getting the puck deep into the Penguins’ zone, and a quick pass from Chris Kunitz to Bill Guerin resulted in the Penguins winger scoring his first goal of the season on a breakaway. Minutes later, Philadelphia gave the Penguins their fourth goal when Braydon Coburn threw a puck through his own crease, where it struck Ray Emery and went into the net for a Pittsburgh goal credited to Alex Goligoski.

The Penguins’ grinders got the eventual game-winning goal off a perfect hockey sequence. Tyler Kennedy gained center and dumped into the zone, Craig Adams took the body as the first man in the zone, and Matt Cooke offered support behind the net, where he picked off the errant pass and fed Kennedy streaking to the net for the score.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Bill Guerin and Alex Goligoski scored midway through the second period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins hand the Philadelphia Flyers their first loss of the season, 5-4 on Thursday night.

Evgeni Malkin, who also had an assist, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy also scored for the Penguins, who were coming off their first loss of the season, 3-0 to Phoenix on Wednesday.

Evgeni Malkin fights through a check by one of the Flyers during the Penguins 5-4 victory Thursday night.
(photo by Getty)
What Worked Well: Great Goaltending
Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday night’s game against the Coyotes. He was razor sharp for the Penguins as the Flyers peppered him with 34 shots, 30 of which Fleury stopped. Fleury was especially stingy with his glove, including second-period stops on Mike Richards at 8:36 and Myka Pyorala at 6:31. Fleury made saves easy on himself many times with solid positioning. 

What Could Have Gone Better: Penalty Trouble
One night after giving the Coyotes nine power-play chances, the Penguins gave the Flyers seven more on this night. Philadelphia scored twice on those opportunities, including a five-on-three goal by Jeff Carter. This marks the third-consecutive game the Penguins have given up at least six power plays, not a trend head coach Dan Bylsma wants to see continue.
Evgeni Malkin was everywhere for the Penguins on this night. He recorded his first multi-point effort of the season, scoring once and assisting on another during the first period. His second power-play score of the season got the Penguins out and running just 48 seconds into the game. Later in the period, less than 30 seconds after the Flyers had tied the score, Malkin made a perfect pass to spring Jordan Staal on the breakaway that would conclude with Staal giving the Penguins the lead back, 2-1.

Malkin’s game was much more than the two points he put on the scoresheet. Twice Malkin split through multiple Flyers defenders, barely missing the net on the first attempt and drawing a tripping call against Braydon Coburn on the second. He also stood up to the Flyers’ punishment they tried to employ against the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner.
Given an early power play, the Penguins took advantage. Evgeni Malkin walked into a pass from Sergei Gonchar on the right point and one-timed a laser over the glove of the Flyers Ray Emery. Sidney Crosby was applying traffic in front of Emery. Kris Letang picked up the second assist on the play. Pittsburgh 1, Philadelphia 0.

Philadelphia tied the score off a set play following a faceoff in the Penguins’ end. Jeff Carter won the puck cleanly back to Braydon Coburn at the right point. Coburn walked down the boards and fed the puck in front to a wide-open Danny Briere for the re-direction past Marc-Andre Fleury. Pittsburgh 1, Philadelphia 1.

The Penguins responded quickly to Philadelphia’s goal as Malkin circled with the puck at center ice and found Jordan Staal streaking through the middle of the Flyers defense at the Philadelphia blue line. Staal drove hard to the net with Coburn chasing and forced Emery to move quickly from his right to his left before depositing the puck on the short side for his first goal of the season. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1.

Briere tied the game up again early in the second period during a Flyers’ power play. Matt Cooke broke his stick blocking a shot earlier in the sequence, forcing him to use his body to block a centering pass from Carter to the point. The puck bounced to Briere wide open in front of the net for the easy goal. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 2.

Bill Guerin scored his first goal of the season at the 14:34 mark of the second period after a bad line change by the Flyers left Guerin wide open. Alex Goligoski began the play by stopping a Flyers’ rush at the Penguins’ blue line, and Chris Kunitz picked up the loose puck Goligoski created and hit Guerin for the breakaway. Guerin went five-hole for the score. Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 2.

The Penguins received a gift from Flyers defenseman Coburn to take their first two-goal lead of the night. As Ruslan Fedotenko pressured Coburn in the near corner of the Flyers’ zone, Coburn tried to pass the puck in front of the net. Instead of connecting with a teammate, Coburn’s pass went off the left skate of a startled Emery for a Pittsburgh goal. Goligoski was credited with the score as the last Penguin to touch the puck. Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 2.

Up by two men late in the second period, Philadelphia converted their second power-play tally of the evening when Carter sent a wrist shot from the slot past Fleury with 16:59 gone by. Carter set up in the middle of the Penguins’ triangle and took a quick pass from Mike Richards. Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 3.

Tyler Kennedy started his own scoring sequence in the third period by skating the puck out of the Penguins’ zone, gaining the red line and dumping the puck into the corner. Craig Adams followed the puck on a hard forecheck and crushed Coburn, weakening his pass around the back of the net. Matt Cooke picked the pass off and hit Kennedy in front for the score. Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 3.

Philadelphia made things interesting with 41 seconds left in regulation as Carter notched his second goal of the night when his shot found its way over the right shoulder of Fleury. Prior to the shot, Fleury lost his goaltender’s stick, forcing him to use a player stick. Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 4.
Coaches always talk the importance of the next shift right after a goal is scored. The Penguins responded to Philadelphia tying the score, 1-1, by retaking the lead 28 seconds later when Jordan Staal took a pass from Evgeni Malkin, walked in on Ray Emery and beat him on the short side. Staal’s goal prevented the Flyers, and more importantly the home crowd, from picking up momentum from Danny Briere’s goal.

The Penguins responded in similar fashion during the second period following Briere’s second score of the evening. This time Sidney Crosby hit the goal post to the left of Emery just nine seconds after Briere’s goal. Bill Guerin then converted a breakaway shortly thereafter, again halting any momentum the Flyers gained.

For the second time in the young season, a lineup change by head coach Dan Bylsma paid immediate dividends and led directly to a goal. Bylsma began the game with Staal playing the left wing next to Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko. The trio spent a majority of the game together during regulation, and generated numerous scoring chances. One of those chances was Staal’s goal off the beautiful feed from Malkin.

The Penguins scored on the power play for the first time since the season opener against the New York Rangers. Pittsburgh had been 0-for-9 on the power play since converting on their first chance of the year. Coincidently, Malkin scored that goal as well, with both goals being early first-period tallies that allowed the Penguins to jump out to 1-0 leads.
> Scoring Summary:
PIT, E. Malkin PP (2), 0:48 1st period: Penguins 1, Flyers 0
PHI, D. Briere (2), 11:53 1st period: Penguins 1, Flyers 1
PIT, J. Staal (1), 12:21 1st period: Penguins 2, Flyers 1
PHI, D. Briere PP (3), 2:37 2nd period: Penguins 2, Flyers 2
PIT, B. Guerin (1) 5:26 2nd period: Penguins 3, Flyers 2
PIT, A. Goligoski (1) 8:08 2nd period: Penguins 4, Flyers 2
PHI, J. Carter PP (3), 16:59 2nd period: Penguins 4, Flyers 3
PIT, T. Kennedy (2), 8:37 3rd period: Penguins 5, Flyers 3
PHI, J. Carter (4), 19:19 3rd period: Penguins 5, Flyers 4

> The Penguins start the season with a 3-1-0 record, including 3-0-0 against Atlantic Division opponents.

> The Penguins improved to 2-0 this season on the tail end of back-to-back games. They now have a 3-1 overall record in such instances, including a 1-1 mark in first games.

> This was the third time in four games the Penguins have scored the first goal, and they are 3-0 in such instances.  

> The Penguins have now won three consecutive regular-season games in Philadelphia dating back to last season, and including the postseason, have won in five of their past six visits to the ‘City of Brotherly Love.’

> Sidney Crosby was incredible on faceoffs against the Flyers, going an astounding 21-3 (88%).

> With a 3-0 record between the pipes, Marc-Andre Fleury is off to the best start of his career. Until this season, Fleury had never won more than one game consecutively to begin a season.

> The Penguins are off to a 2-0 start on the road for the second-consecutive season after also defeating the New York Islanders in the team’s first road game on Oct. 3.

> Both of Tyler Kennedy’s goals this season have been game winners. He now has nine career game-winning goals on 27 career goals.

> Fleury now has a career record of 16-6 against the Flyers, the most wins he has posted against any one team. 
1. E.Malkin
2. M. Fleury
3. J. Carter
"That's always important. We may not always be
thinking about that, but later in the season
these points could be very important.
We have a lot of games left against
the division but this is a good start."

- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on being 3-0-0 against Atlantic Division opponents.


Author: Jason Seidling

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