FLYERS 3, PENGUINS 2
That'll do it. Flyers win the game 3-2.0:14:
Talbot wins a key D zone faceoff and it looks like Giroux is off to the races with an empty net, but he's offsides!1:34:
Pens have pulled Flower for the extra attacker.4:54:
coming on hard now. Pitt just dominated play in the O zone again and force Philly to ice it, but Flyers win the faceoff and are able to clear the zone.6:27:
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette deems it necessary to use his timeout after his players ice the puck.7:06:
Pens really picking up the intensity these last few shifts. They just did some fantastic work to keep the Flyers hemmed in their own zone.11:39:
On a set faceoff play, Orpik goes deep into the zone so Asham can drop back for a shot opportunity (he's got a wicked slapper). However, the puck ends up going to Brooksy behind the net and he dishes a gorgeous no-look pass to Malkin in the right circle. Geno goes in on Bryzgalov and scores! Flyers 3, Pens 212:17:
INJURY UPDATE: Pens just announced Bortuzzo has an upper-body injury and is questionable for a return.14:17:
Briere throws a puck to the cage and Flower doesn't know where it is (sandwiched between his skate and the post!) Luckily Picard gets there, finds it and clears it away before any Flyers can attack!15:42:
Reason 1,000 why Flower is the best: He makes a big save, gobbles up his rebound and when he gets up to give the puck back to the ref, he gives Orpik a stick tap instead of the other way around.18:50:
Pens back to full strength! Time to get to their game.19:40:
Huge 2-on-1 shorthanded break for Duper and Addsy! But Bryzgalov is able to slide across and get a pad on Adams' shot! Great chance for Pitt there.20:00:
Pens will start the period shorthanded for 1:03. Huge kill right here for Pittsburgh. Game on!
- Each team has had five power-play opportunities
- Neal's goal was his 15th of the season and 8th on the PP
- Vitale is 9-5 in the faceoff dot; Adams 6-2 and Staal 8-6
- Martin leads with 19:51 minutes
First 40 minutes are in the books. Flyers lead 3-1 and are outshooting the Pens 22-13.0:57:
Pens to the PK as Niskanen cross-checks Hartnell after the long-haired Flyer crashes the net hard.1:18:
TK stands up for his goalie after Harry Zolnierczyk ran into the Flower a few minutes earlier. On the ensuing faceoff, TK drops the gloves with the Flyer and absolutely TKO's him. What a bout from Kennedy.2:34:
Pens successfully thwart off the Flyers as Malkin's freed from the box!4:35:
Malkin trips up Briere in the neutral zone and he's going to the box for it. I feel like all I've been typing tonight are penalties. This is the 10th one of the game.5:50:
And eight seconds later, Neal connects!!! Malkin meanders into the slot and dishes to Neal on the back door, who buries it past Bryzgalov for the score! Flyers 3, Pens 15:58:
Rinaldo goes off. Pens get a PP chance here.6:28:
D-man Meszaros powers his way into the zone on a pretty rush and sauces a backhand pass to a crashing Hartnell, who connects for his 12th goal of the season. Flyers 3, Pens 06:45:
Pens kill off that one and are back to full strength.8:45:
Sullivan gets another holding call when Coburn clamps down on his stick while the pair battles during a faceoff. Pens to the PK.11:18:
The movement on Philly's PP is fantastic and it just resulted in a goal. Voracek sends a cross across the crease to Simmonds on the back door, who slams it into the open net. Flyers 2, Pens 013:13:
Jagr draws another penalty, this time on Vitale. Pens back to the PK.14:19:
Pens can't get anything going on that PP. Flyers back to full strength.16:23:
MacIntyre draws a penalty on Marshall, his second of the game. Pens to the PP!16:50:
Pens had a lot of trouble breaking out of their own zone on that last shift. Flyers were everywhere throwing hits and getting sticks on pucks...18:10:
Nice scoring opportunity by the Sullivan-Malkin-Neal line as they get a 3-on-2 rush, but Bryzgalov slides over to stone Neal's one-timer.20:00:
Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
I'm going to use this first intermission to write a quick entry on Max Talbot. I know I've mentioned him a couple times throughout this blog, but I wanted to go into a little more detail because of how much he meant to the Pens organization when he was here.
Talbot was a fan favorite during his time in Pittsburgh, the organization that drafted him back in 2002, scoring 52 goals and 108 points in 388 games in black and gold. But his most memorable game, and the contest where he put his stamp on Penguins history forever, was scoring both of Pittsburgh’s goals in a 2-1 Game 7 victory at Detroit to win the franchise’s third Stanley Cup championship in 2009.
In addition, he was an integral part of the Pens' locker room fabric with his fun-loving, friendly personality, and Max also played a large role in giving back to the community. And although he's with the Flyers now (click here to read what the Pens had to say about facing their old friend
), he's definitely missed in Pittsburgh.
He spoke to the media prior to the game and PensTV was on hand to get it on video. Watch here:
- Fleury has looked sharp through the first 20 minutes
- Pens outhitting Flyers 11-8 (Neal has three)
- Pens have had 3 PP opportunities to the Flyers' 2
That'll do it for the first. Flyers lead 1-0 and have a 15-8 advantage in shots. Fleury has had to come up real strong!0:18:
Gotta love Flower. He just saved a long shot that he bounced a couple of times off the paddle of his stick like he was flipping pancakes. He may or may not have had a big grin on his face after the whistle blew...2:05:
Pens back to full strength! What a penalty-marred period thus far. Whew.3:20:
Flyers now have 1:11 left on a power play.4:09:
Two of the Flyers' 3 men out that last shift didn't have sticks! But the Pens can't convert. And now Kuni is going to the box for cross-checking. 4-on-4 for the next 40 seconds.5:11:
Pitt has the two-man advantage for 1:02. Talbot one of the Flyers' 3 men on the ice.5:29:
With 10 seconds left on the 4-on-4, Vitale draws a penalty! Pens will have a 5-on-3 here shortly! (They've been working on this in practice -- hopefully it pays off).6:09:
Hartnell takes out Staal's legs on the boards and he's getting a tripping call for it. We're going to 4-on-4 for 50 seconds and then the Pens will get a short PP!6:54:
Flyers' PP right now is Hartnell, Read, Briere up front and van Riemsdyk and Carle on the points.7:19:
Jagr uses those thick, strong legs of his to power into the Pens' zone and to the net -- and draws a holding penalty on Sullivan for his efforts. Pens to the PK.9:33:
Bylsma using his timeout as the Flyers just got some extended offensive zone time and Fleury's stick snapped in half. He's got to go over to the bench and get a new one.12:18:
Shortly after the goal, Hartnell gets a huge opportunity on the back door but he somehow misses!!! He had a wide-open
net. Big break for the Pens there.13:22:
Flyers strike first on a couple of incredibly lucky bounces -- Briere's shot from the half wall hits Bortuzzo's skate, pings over to Orpik's skate and deflects into the back of the net. What are the odds of that?! Tempers erupt behind the net afterward...yup, this is definitely a Pens-Flyers game. Flyers 1, Pens 014:18:
Marshall's out of the box with the Flyers getting a strong finish to that PK with a number of shorthanded chances.16:18:
Flyers take the first penalty of the game when Kevin Marshall lifts the puck over the glass. Pens' first unit is Kunitz, Staal, Dupuis, Kennedy and Niskanen. Talbot is out there PK'ing vs. his old team.17:34:
Talbot just took his first shift against the Pens wearing black and orange. Stat line: 58-second shift, one faceoff win, one blocked shot. So odd seeing Max in enemy colors. But definitely happy for him. We miss him here in Pitt!19:16:
Huge first shift for the Pens. They totally controlled play and got pucks to the cage.20:00:
A new chapter in the Pens-Flyers rivalry begins tonight. It's a hockey night in PA! Let's go Pens!
I've got to give mad credit to Sam, who ended up getting the most epic photo ever during warmups for my blog tonight. Wait for it...GENO + MAX = FRENEMIES!!!
The Pens' official lines for tonight:
Fleury between the pipes (he's won 5 of his last 6 games in Philly). Bryzgalov is starting his second game in as many days.
Lots to report from the Pens' first visit of the season to the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pens will be without captain Sidney Crosby
, as he's sitting out tonight's game and Saturday's tilt in Long Island as a precautionary measure. Crosby spoke exclusively with pittsburghpenguins.com about missing those games...click here to find out what he and coach Dan Bylsma had to say about that
With forward Richard Park
(and defenseman Deryk Engelland
) continuing to be day-to-day, forward Steve MacIntyre
was activated from IR earlier this afternoon and will be in the lineup tonight with Crosby out. For the rest of the game-day coverage, click here
Or if you prefer, you can watch Sam Kasan report from the scene:
This is Pittsburgh's first look at cross-state rival Philadelphia, who underwent quite a makeover in the offseason with the departures of franchise centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and, of course, the additions of two very
familiar faces to Pens fans in Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot. Philly also added a bonafide No. 1 netminder in Ilya Bryzgalov and have a number of rookies in their lineup due to injuries.
But even though there's a number of new faces, the Pens said the rivalry between them and Philly is absolutely still as intense
as it's ever been. And with the stakes as high as they are -- the Flyers trail the Pens by just one point in the Atlantic Division standings -- the guys said tonight's game takes on even more meaning than just Keystone State supremacy.
With that being said, I've had this song stuck in my head all day as Pitt prepares to take on Philly...I wonder why...