by Tony on 10/08/09 at 11:40 PM ET
If you listen to some of these hockey “experts”, they’ve all but awarded the Stanley Cup to the Philadelphia Flyers.
You know, the ones that added Chris Pronger and Ray Emery, among others.
Well, tonight, facing the actual Stanley Cup champions, their supposed #1 goaltender Emery gave up a 5-spot for the second game in a row, while Pronger was for the most part invisible other than taking part in the requisite Flyers goon squad in the last seconds of the game in the Penguins’ 5-4 win tonight at the Wachovia Center.
The game was marred in the waning moments as the Flyers were attempting to score the tying goal, when the amazingly incredible leader Mike Richards intentionally ran Marc-Andre Fleury, which resulted in a scrum highlighted by the grappling Scott Hartnell and Kris Letang. Letang skated off the ice grimacing in pain from his hand. The FSN broadcasters speculated that Hartnell bit Letang, and during the postgame interviews Letang didn’t want to say flat-out that he was bit, but he basically implied it. He said that Hartnell should tell everyone what he did.
You stay classy, Philadelphia.
Things started well for the Pens, as the Flyers were called for an early hooking penalty on Danny Briere only 14 seconds into the game. The Pens capitalized quickly as Evgeni Malkin took a Sergei Gonchar pass for a one-time blast from the right point that may have been slightly deflected by Sidney Crosby and into the net to give the Pens a 1-0 lead only 48 seconds into the game. Malkin was given credit for the goal.
Briere got some retribution midway through the period after a Flyers faceoff win. Braydon Coburn skated with the puck down the right boards and made a nice centering pass to Briere, who tapped it past Fleury to tie the game at one.
However, only 28 seconds later, Malkin made a nice cross-body pass to Jordan Staal, who skated in the Flyers zone, used his body to shield the puck from Coburn and bring it back to his forehand to fire a wrister past Emery to give the Pens the lead again at 2-1.
The Flyers tied it right back up on the powerplay again when the Flyers took advantage of a fortunate bounce off the skate of a stick-less Matt Cooke. Cooke intercepted a cross-ice pass, but it deflected it right to the stick of Briere, who banged it past Fleury to make it 2-2 at the 2:37 mark of the second period.
A few minutes later, Bill Guerin then took advantage of a terrible Flyers’ line change to skate in all alone on Emery to fire a wrister past him to make it 3-2 Penguins.
About eight minutes into the second period, it was the Penguins’ turn to get some luck, as Coburn attempted to make a clearing pass but accidently put the puck towards his own net, where it deflected off the pads of Emery and into the net. Alex Goligoski was awarded the goal, and it was 4-2 Penguins.
Late in the second, this time on a 5-on-3 Flyers powerplay, the Flyers used some crisp passing to feed Jeff Carter, who whipped a wrister easily past Fleury to cut the Pens’ lead to 4-3.
Tyler Kennedy helped regain the Penguins their two goal lead in the third period after he dumped the puck into the Flyers’ zone. Matt Cooke gathered the puck and quickly fired a centering pass back to Kennedy, who tapped it past Emery to make it 5-3 Pens.
Carter was able to cut the Pens lead to 5-4 with a goal past Fleury after he had to use Hartnell’s stick with 41 seconds left, but that was all the offense they could muster. The goonery occurred with 1.5 seconds remaining.
- Sidney Crosby was outstanding in the faceoff circle tonight, winning 21 of 24 for 88 percent.
- The Pens blocked 24 shots, led by Jay McKee with 4.
- A relatively low number of hits awarded in this type of game, with the Pens getting 16 and the Flyers 14.
- Malkin has been in the penalty box way, way too many times already this season. His 8 PIM’s tonight give him 14 in only four games.
The Penguins will now travel to Toronto for a match against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
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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.
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