0:00: The Penguins spot the Flyers a couple of two-goal leads and never recover as Philadelphia comes into Mellon Arena and takes a 7-4 victory over the Penguins. Pittsburgh heads to the road starting Saturday night for a five-game road swing that begins with a 7 p.m. matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs and concludes with a visit to Western Canada. Sidney Crosby
records two more goals to lead the way for the Penguins.
Richards deposits the biscuit into the empty cage and the Flyers get a back-breaking goal. Flyers 7, Penguins 4.
Malkin's deflection of a Guerin shot goes off the post to the right behind Leighton.
Pittsburgh uses their timeout with a faceoff in the Flyers zone.
The Penguins have pulled Johnson in an effort to get two goals to tie the game.
Malkin had the puck just roll off his stick as he walked it to the front of the net. The Penguins continue to get their chances against Leighton and the Flyers.
Leighton makes a save on Talbot from in close. Big save by the Flyers netminder.
Johnson gets his left pad against the post to prvevent Van Riemsdyk from wrapping his hat trick goal into the cage.
Don't count the Penguins out yet. All five players touch the puck in the offensive zone and the sequence ends with Rupp adding to his career-high total with his 11th goal of the season with a shot from the slot. Assists to Talbot and Malkin. Flyers 6, Penguins 4.
Great stick work by the Flyers prevents Crosby from getting his hat trick. It looked as though he was going to have an open net but Philadelphia recovers nicely.
Carter strikes once again over the glove of Johnson from the near circle on the rush and the Flyers might have dealt the Penguins a crushing goal. Flyers 6, Penguins 3.
Staal creates an opening for himself but his shot jumps over the net.
Once again it's Johnson there to save the day. This time it is his right pad denying Asham from in tight.
Penguins fans are letting the referees hear it again after Briere held Orpik's stick and once again, no penalty was called on the play.
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Pittsburgh cannot take advantage of the Coburn minor.
The Penguins catch a break as Carter is offside as he takes a potential breakaway pass.
Mike Rupp uses his size and strength to force Coburn to wrap his arms around him. The Penguins are back on the man-advantage.
Pittsburgh has started out strong with the first two shots of the final period.
The Penguins look to come back all the way from a 5-3 deficit.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Brooks Orpik
leads all Penguins with a plus-2 rating.
- Maxime Talbot leads all players with five hits.
- The Penguins continue to dominate on the faceoff dots, leading 23-12.
is doing it once again to the Flyers with two goals through the first two periods.
The Penguins keep coming back but it's the Flyers who will take a 5-3 lead into the final period. Philadelphia continues to lead in shots, 24-20, as well. As the teams skate off the ice Richards tries to get an explanation on the Gagne no-goal while the fans yell at him to return to the locker room.
Johnson comes up huge again by stoning Hartnell's backhander and a rebound by Briere off his right pad. Remember those saves.
The Penguins cannot score as Timonen returns to the ice.
It's the Flyers who get the best of the scoring chances with the man-advantage and the officials had to go upstairs to confirm but they do rule Johnson kept Simon Gagne's rebound shot off the end boards.
Head coach Dan Bylsma has united Guerin, Crosby and Malkin and their pressure results in Timonen heading back to the box for high-sticking Malkin in front of the net.
Another sign signifying the Penguins superiority to the Flyers and the man Pittsburghers have come to love (tongue in cheek), Scott Hartnell.
Malkin slams Pronger against the glass as the Penguins and the fans are totally intimidating the Flyers.
Coincidental minors are assessed to Letang and Hartnell as the Staal line totally dominates the play in the Flyers zone. Hartnell gets two minutes for cross-checking, Letang two for slashing.
The Penguins just don't go away. They get back within two goals as Crosby banks a shot of Kimmo Timonen past Leighton. Assists go to Malkin and Caputi. Flyers 5, Penguins 3.
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The crowd tries to help get the Penguins back in the game with a "Let's Go Pens" chant.
Talbot took a high-stick to the face but no penalty was called.
Maxime Talbot talked earlier this morning about the Flyers No. 3 ranked power play, among other topics:
As usual, Penguins fans show their creative side with their sides.
The crowd enjoys seeing Mike Rupp knock Daniel Carcillo to the ice. Play is stopped for the injured Flyer and he of course has to mock the crowd as he heads back to the bench.
Van Riemsdyk had been cold coming in but he has his second goal of the night after he gets behind Letang and has another breakaway. Once again he goes to the backhand for his 10th goal of the season. Flyers 5, Penguins 2.
18:18: Brent Johnson
emerges to replace Fleury after Pronger beats him with a goal from the right point. Flyers 4, Penguins 2.
The second period is under way in this barn burner at Mellon Arena.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Maxime Talbot led the Penguins with four hits.
- The Penguins held the edge on faceoffs, 10-6.
- The Penguins outhit the Flyers, 13-7.
A great first period of action sees the Flyers hold a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes. Philadelphia also has a 14-11 edge in shots.
Great diving effort by Orpik to lay out on the ice to poke the puck off the stick of Richards as he led a three-on-two rush into the zone.
The Penguins continue to keep the Flyers in their sights as they chip away at their lead once again. Staal drives to the net and has the puck roll of his blade but Carter gives it away right to Cooke, who beats Leighton threw the five-hole. Flyers 3, Penguins 2.
Philadelphia restores their two-goal advantage with a power-play tally off the stick of Carle. His one-timer from the right point off a Chris Pronger pass beats Fleury to the stick side. Flyers 3, Penguins 1.
Great work shorthanded by Maxime Talbot as he keeps the puck pinned in the corner of the Flyers zone for 10-12 seconds while both Braydon Coburn and Hartnell dig away at him.
A touching moment at Mellon Arena as the Penguins honored the memory of Oficer Michael Crenshaw who was killed in the line of duty last month. The Penn Hills Police Department took donations at the gates tonight to benefit the Penn Hills Fallen Heroes Fund.
The crowd is not happy. They believed it was the Flyers going to the penalty box when the referees' hand went up but instead it is Eric Godard going off for high-sticking.
Leighton was down and out as Crosby set up Bill Guerin all alone on the top of the goal line but Leighton makes a glove save to keep the Flyers in front by one.
We have our first skirmish as Matt Cooke
and Mike Richards come together after Fleury makes a save.
Crosby has been great throughout his career against the Flyers and he already has a goal tonight. He talked about the Flyers earlier today:
Here comes the comeback!!! Letang's shot from the right point is stopped by Michael Leighton but guess who?? Yup, Flyers killer Sidney Crosby
gets all of a slap shot from the high slot and beats Leighton over the glove hand. Brooks Orpik
gets the second assist. Flyers 2, Penguins 1.
A turnover at the Flyers blue line results in Arron Asham
springing James Van Riemsdyk on a breakaway and he goes to the backhand to beat Fleury. Flyers 2, Penguins 0.
Jeff Carter takes a pass from Matt Carle in the slot and throws a wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury
from between the circles. Flyers 1, Penguins 0.
That power play doesn't last long when Luca Caputi is penalized for interference.
The Penguins head to the power play as Kimmo Timonen trips Sidney Crosby
16:28: Kris Letang
knocks Hartnell to the ice with a hip check along the near boards. The crowd goes crazy. They cheered even louder at 16:14 when Letang drill Danny Briere down as well.
Chris Pronger loses an edge and falls to the ice at center and the crowd loves it.
Scott Hartnell was reminded by the crowd how much they love him here.
The Penguins have come out buzzing. Jordan Staal
and Tyler Kennedy
each record great scoring chances in the opening minute.
The Penguins look to make it 4-0 this season against the Philadelphia Flyers.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Flyers have been a tougher team to play against the past seven games under Peter Laviolette, scoring four-or-more goals five times in that span, including six last night in a 6-2 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Wachovia Center.
Scratches for the Penguins include Sergei Gonchar for the fourth-consecutive game, Ruslan Fedotenko and Chris Kunitz
. Philadelphia will be without Mika Pyorala and Riley Cote. This will be the fourth-consecutive game missed by Gonchar since he bruised his foot blocking a Brian Rolston shot in New Jersey on Dec. 29.
The Pittsburgh Penguins hope to make it two victories in a row before they embark on a five-game road swing tonight when they play host to the Philadelphia Flyers at Mellon Arena. The Penguins have won each of the first three contests between the teams, including a 6-1 victory here back on Dec. 15. Sidney Crosby
led the way in that game with a goal and two assists.
Author: Jason Seidling