|The Penguins established early that they would not be intimated by the Flyers physicality, dropping the gloves for three fights within 16 seconds in the opening minutes of the first period. Then the Penguins established their superior skill and talent, racking up six goals on 35 shots and dominating from the opening faceoff. |
Pittsburgh’s special teams chipped in three goals (one on the power play and two shorthanded) as the Penguins sent their cross-state rivals reeling back to Philadelphia with another loss at Mellon Arena.
Pittsburgh is now 11-2 in their last 13 meetings with the Flyers at the Igloo (16-3 including the postseason). The home-and-home series now shifts to Philadelphia on Thursday night.
|WHAT HAPPENED |
|PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jordan Staal scored twice and Sidney Crosby's goal and assist early in the first period amid a succession of fights lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night in a feisty renewal of an intensifying rivalry. |
Crosby scored an infrequent Penguins power-play goal 3:30 in - and before a flurry of three fights in 16 seconds - and set up Bill Guerin's goal about 2 1/2 minutes later, immediately after the first round of pushing, shoving and punching. Crosby had a three-point night and now has 21 goals and 28 assists in 28 career games against Philadelphia.
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT |
Jordan Staal, who scored two goals in the game, sends a shot on the Flyers net
(photo by Getty)
|What Worked Well: Special Teams |
The Penguins decisively defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, thanks in large part to winning the special teams battle. Pittsburgh finished a plus-2 in the game on special teams with a power-play goal and two shorthanded tallies to the Flyers’ lone man-advantage score.
What Could Have Gone Better: Discipline
The Penguins handled the Flyers’ physical edge well and showed that they would not back down from Philadelphia. The only blemish on an otherwise brilliant performance were a few late-whistle penalties on the Penguins. But Pittsburgh’s penalty killing units stepped up strong and even scored twice while shorthanded.
|Jordan Staal continues to make huge strides in his play on the ice. He put together another brilliant effort against the Flyers with a two-goal night and great work with the Penguins shorthanded. |
While Pittsburgh was shorthanded, Staal dangled the puck on a two-on-one, playing Matt Carle, before riffling a shot into the goal. On his second score, Staal drove hard to the net and beat two Flyers to a loose puck to slide it across the goal line.
Staal also had two shots, a plus-2 rating and 18:50 minutes of ice time.
|SCORING SYNOPSIS |
|The Penguins new-look power play scored a man-advantage goal on its first opportunity 3:30 into the opening period. Sergei Gonchar’s one-timer from the midpoint was blocked by Error! Reference source not found.. The puck caromed to Sidney Crosby, who buried a shot into the open net for his 21st goal of the year. Pittsburgh 1, Philadelphia 0. |
The Penguins added to their lead with another score in the first period. Brooks Orpik started the play with a beautiful breakout pass from his own zone to spring Crosby into the Philadelphia zone. Bill Guerin drove to the net while Crosby whipped a shot on goal. The puck trickled through the body of goaltender Brian Boucher and fell into the crease. Guerin stuffed it over the goal line. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 0.
The Flyers cut into the Pittsburgh’s lead with a goal with 8:14 remaining in the first frame. Philadelphia was on a power play and won the faceoff in the Pittsburgh zone. Matt Carle took a shot from the near point that was re-directed by Mike Richards in front. Netminder Marc-Andre Fleury made the save but Daniel Carcillo swooped in to pick up the rebound and deposit the puck into the net for the score. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1.
The Penguins special teams netted another goal in the first period, this time shorthanded. Matt Cooke chipped the puck ahead to Jordan Staal, behind a pinching Mike Richards, and the two Penguins had a two-on-one rush. Staal dazzled the puck on his stick before ripping a shot into the far side. Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 1.
The Penguins struck with a heart-crushing goal with 14.3 seconds left in the second period. Staal chipped the puck ahead to Crosby and drove to the net. Crosby entered the zone down the far side, pulled up and found Kris Letang coming down the near side. Letang’s shot was stopped by Boucher but the rebound was hammered home by Staal. Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 1.
Pittsburgh scored its fifth goal of the game in the third period. Evgeni Malkin carried the puck into the Philadelphia zone and dropped the puck to Fedotenko above the circles. Fedotenko blasted a shot into the top corner of the net. Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 1.
The Penguins padded their stats with their second shorthanded goal of the evening thanks to a great individual play by Malkin. The Russian forward picked up an errant Flyers’ shot in his own zone and skated all the way into the Flyers end, pulled up above the circles and snapped a shot behind Boucher. Pittsburgh 6, Philadelphia 1.
|INTRIGUING NOTABLES |
|The hockey world was reminded quickly in the first period just how much these two teams dislike each other. Three separate fights broke out within a 16-second span five minutes into the game. Mike Rupp and Arron Asham dueled in the first throw down. |
Six seconds later Eric Godard and Riley Cote squared off in a heavyweight fight. Craig Adams and Daniel Carcillo completed the slugfest. And Adams deserves a lot of credit for having the guts to go after a heavyweight with a size advantage.
TURNING POINT: The Penguins penalty killing units came up with a big stop near the end of the second period. Pittsburgh held a 3-1 lead and was down a player in the final two minutes of the second period. Not only did Pittsburgh kill the penalty, but five seconds after the penalty expired it scored to make it a 4-1 game.
The Flyers thought they pulled within 4-2 after Daniel Carcillo apparently scored his second of the game on the power play in the opening minutes of the third period. However, Carcillo clearly kicked the puck into the net and the goal was disallowed.
|GAME NOTES |
|> Pittsburgh improved to 23-10-1 on the season with a 12-5-1 mark at Mellon Arena. The Penguins lost only twice in regulation in their last 12 games (9-2-1). |
> Scoring Summary:
PIT, S.Crosby PP (21), 3:30 1st period: Penguins 1, Flyers 0
PIT, B.Guerin (8), 6:09 1st period: Penguins 2, Flyers 0
PHI, D.Carcillo PP (3), 11:46 1st period: Penguins 2, Flyers 1
PIT, J.Staal SH (9), 14:51 1st period: Penguins 3, Flyers 1
PIT, J.Staal (10), 19:45 2nd period: Penguins 4, Flyers 1
PIT, R.Fedotenko (6), 12:17 3rd period: Penguins 5, Flyers 1
PIT, E.Malkin SH (10), 18:39 3rd period: Penguins 6, Flyers 1
> The Penguins are now 41-13-5 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 22-6-2 at Mellon Arena.
> Under Bylsma, the Penguins are now: 25-2-1 when leading after two periods; 28-0 when recording four or more goals; 28-2-2 when scoring first.
> The Penguins are 20-3-1 when registering 30 or more shots in a game this season.
> Jordan Staal scored two goals, including a shorthanded tally, against Philadelphia. He has seven points (4G-3A) in his past seven games.
Staal played in his 254th consecutive game, tying him for fourth place on the team’s all-time list Evgeni Malkin.
> Sidney Crosby posted a goal and two assists against the Flyers. He has 16 points (9G-7A) in his last seven games.
> Evgeni Malkin posted his sixth assist in the past six games and added a shorthanded goal for a two-point night. He has four points (2G-2A) in his last two games.
> Ruslan Fedotenko scored his second goal in as many games and added an assist for two points in the game.
> Sergei Gonchar recorded an assist and plus-2 rating against the Flyers. He now has four points (1G-3A) in his last three games.
|THREE STARS ||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT |
| || |
|1. S.Crosby |
“It was an exciting way to start the game. … All three of those guys did a great job in those fights and got us going.”
- Jordan Staal