The Penguins and Flyers played one of the more bizarre and enthralling games in recent memory of the intra-state rivalry.
The Pens scored two shorthanded goals, including a 3-on-5 score, and broke a 3-3 tie with threetallies in the third period to skate out of Philadelphia with a 6-4 win at Wells Fargo Center.
The first 40 minutes were penalty riddled with 12 calls total and nine power plays. While special teams dominated the first two periods, the final frame was a back-and-forth affair with great flow.
"It was a strange period with the types of situations we were in," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "The second period was unique in a lot of ways. Penalty-wise and giving up one in the first, finding ourselves down. To come out of the special teams with a plus-1 on the shorthanded goals clearly was a huge part of the game."Matt Cooke
broke out with two goals and an assist for three points as the Pens drew even with the Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings.
"Definitely (Cooke's best game) this year," Bylsma said. "Physical-wise, skating-wise, with the puck, defensively and 5-on-5. He was solid on the wall play. The PK was exceptional."
The Pens scored two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill sequence, one of which was while the team was at a 3-on-5 disadvantage, that gave them a 3-2 lead. Jordan Staal
scored the first shorthanded score in the game off a 2-on-1 rush. Craig Adams
drove to the net, allowing Staal to curl the puck towards the middle and using Jakub Voracek as a screen. He snapped a shot that found its way into the goal far side past Ilya Bryzgalov.
Cooke scored the Pens’ 3-on-5 shorthanded tally to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead. Cooke outraced defenseman Kimmo Timonen to a puck. Cooke bobbled the puck, but had enough presence of mind to get off a shot on goal. The puck sneaked under the arm of Bryzgalov.
The last time the Pens scored two shorthanded goals on the same penalty was Oct. 27, 2010 at Tampa Bay. Cooke and Adams were the scorers on that sequence. The last time the Pens scored a 3-on-5 goal was Mario Lemieux’s tally Feb. 13, 1988 at Los Angeles. More on the shorthanded scores here.
The most bizarre play of this bizarre game was Eric Wellwood’s goal in the second period that tied the game at 3-3. Deryk Engelland
carried the puck in front of his own goal. As he turned, his skate kicked out and he fell to the ice. Wellwood swooped in to bat the puck on goal. The puck went off Engelland’s stick and behind Fleury to make it a 3-3 game.
"When he fell and the puck was teed up right there it was slow motion and hoping 'Flower' can get a stick on it or 'Engo' can swipe it away," Bylsma said. "He unfortunately loses his feet there and falls. I think it was (Wellwood's) first goal so it's one he won't forget about, nor will we."
Not exactly the way it was drawn up, but counts just the same.
JAGR STRIKES TWICE
Winger Jaromir Jagr continued to torture his former employer. Jagr scored the Flyers’ first two goals of the game 18 seconds apart late in the first period.
On his first score, Jagr carried the puck on goal on a 3-on-2 rush. He pulled a head fake before unleashing a shot that sailed over the shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury
to tie the game at 1-1.
Jagr’s second goal came with the Flyers on a 4-on-3 power play. Jagr, uncontested, carried the puck into the low circle and whipped the puck into the air and into the water bottle atop of the netting. A perfect shot that gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.
LUCKY NO. 30
Forward James Neal
scored Pittsburgh's sixth and final goal of the afternoon to hit the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career.
That means Neal and Evgeni Malkin
(32 goals) are the first Penguins linemates to crack the 30-goal mark in the same season since 2000-01, when both Jaromir Jagr (52 goals) and Mario Lemieux (35 goals), and Pittsburgh's second line of Alexei Kovalev (44 goals) and Robert Lang (32 goals) hit those marks.
In addition, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
made 27 saves to reach the 30-win mark for the fourth straight season and fifth time overall with Saturday's victory.
Author: Sam Kasan