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The Confluence

Flyers self-destruct again, Penguins win in OT, 3-2

Despite playing a much better game, and defending a one-goal lead with three minutes to go, in the end it was the same old liability that ended up biting the Flyers square on the buttocks.

Penalties.

A late third period hooking penalty on Jeff Carter gave the Penguins the powerplay it needed, resulting in the tying goal to eventually get the game to overtime.  But it was two terrible Flyers’ penalties in overtime that gave the Penguins a 5-on-3 powerplay, where Bill Guerin’s wrister past Marty Biron lifted the Penguins to a 3-2 comeback win over the Flyers.  The Penguins now hold a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Philadelphia for Game Three on Sunday.

The Flyers came within a Marc-Andre Fleury toe save to have a two-goal third period lead and basically knotting up this series at one game apiece.  But Fleury made the tremendous save on Carter to preserve the lead.

Biron was no slouch in net himself for the Flyers.  His best save came at the very beginning of the third period, where he stopped Jordan Staal’s seemingly open net tap-in to keep the game tied at one each.

The Flyers were the team tonight with the better jump, they were the team that were getting the loose pucks, and for most of the game, were the team that were getting the bounces.

Their fortunate bounce came with about six minutes remaining in the first period on the powerplay after a Mark Eaton holding penalty.  Matt Carle’s wrister from the left point was deflected into the net by Scott Hartnell to give the Flyers the important first goal and a 1-0 lead.

It stayed that way until late in the second period when Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Guerin skated into the Flyers’ zone on a 3-on-2 break.  Malkin lofted a nice saucer pass to Guerin on the left wing, where he settled the puck down and fired a wrister from the slot that Biron couldn’t stop to the the game at one apiece at the 16:38 mark.

But it was the Flyers who retook the lead early in the third period when Claude Giroux fed Darroll Powe for a hard wrister from the right slot that beat Fleury to the far side to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.  I’m not going to say this was a soft goal for Fleury, but I’m sure he’s saying tonight that he should have had that puck.

It remained 2-1 until Carter’s penalty 15:56 against Jordan Staal’s driving attempt to the goal to give the Penguins the man advantage.  On the powerplay, Sergei Gonchar fed Kris Letang for the one-timer from the left slot that deflected off the knee of Malkin and into the net to tie the game at two.

As the first overtime wound down, it didn’t look good for the Penguins as Hal Gill took a cross-checking penalty at 15:26.  However, at 16:55 Mike Knuble clearly cross-checked Brooks Orpik to wipe out the Flyers’ powerplay, then 30 seconds later Giroux inexplicably slashed and broke Chris Kunitz’ stick to give the Penguins a 5-on-3 advantage.  It was about a minute later when Gonchar made a shot-pass to Guerin, who skated towards center ice to open Biron up, then turned and beat Biron to the short side for the winner.

Other notes:
- Orpik was possessed tonight with 14 of the Penguins’ 50 hits.  Mike Richards had 7 for the Flyers.
- Officially the Pens went 2-for-5 on the powerplay.
- Much sloppier for the Penguins in their own zone, as well as the neutral zone, resulting in 10 turnovers awarded.
- Gonchar led the Pens in icetime with 31:56.

The Penguins now head to the friendly confines of Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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