by Tony on 04/19/09 at 11:33 PM ET
Sorry for the tardiness, had other stuff going on today, just finished watching the game.
It was bound to happen eventually. A Penguins team that played reactionary instead of proactively. A defense that was caught numerous times out of position. And, a goaltender that was not making the breathtaking saves.
That was the game in a nutshell.
The Flyers scored on their first two shots, and although the Penguins eventually tied the game, couldn’t match the Flyers’ offensive aggression around their net, losing 6-3 in Game Three.
There were times today that the Penguins’ defense left Marc-Andre Fleury out on his own little island. The fact that Fleury had an off night himself just compounded the Penguins’ problems.
It started early for the Flyers, as Jeff Carter made a nice move to the backhand to loft a shot past Fleury and a 1-0 lead only 2:59 into the game. That lead was doubled on the Flyers’ powerplay when Mike Richards’ wrister from the right boards was tipped somehow past Fleury to make it 2-0. I say somehow because Richards got credit for the goal, and the replays that I saw don’t show who the puck deflected off to get it past Fleury.
After the ensuing faceoff, Kimmo Timonen was fending off Sidney Crosby behind the the Flyers’ net when he is absolutely lambasted by Chris Kunitz. If that wasn’t the hit of the playoffs so far, I’d like to see one better. Anyway, that resulted in a scrap between Kunitz and Hartnell, then soon after that by Legang/Powe, and Giroux/Kennedy.
The Penguins got right back in the game very late in the first period when Evgeni Malkin fired a one-time blast off a centering feed from Ruslan Fedotenko past Marty Biron to cut the Flyers’ lead to 2-1 with only 12 seconds left in the first.
They knotted the game at two only 13 seconds into the second period when Rob Scuderi fired a simple slapper that Biron seemed to be distracted by Hartnell and the puck went into the net to make it 2-2.
The Pens’ fortunes stopped there, however, as only a few minutes later Fleury left a big rebound off a Powe slapper which was corralled by Danny Briere, who fed Giroux wide open for the easy tap-in goal to the open net to make it 3-2 Flyers.
The Flyers put a major dagger into the Pens on a Penguins’ powerplay when the defense couldn’t control the puck deep in the Pens’ end. Giroux grabbed the puck and centered it to Simon Gagne for the one-timer short-handed goal past Fleury making it 4-2. Jared Ross’ wrister tipped past Fleury to make it 5-2.
Malkin got his second goal of the night on a Pens’ powerplay to cut the lead to 5-3, but it was too little too late. Gagne finished off the scoring with an empty netter with 36 seconds remaining.
- Another game, another poor powerplay effort for the Pens, going 1-for-7.
- Uncharacteristically bad game for Gonchar, who along with Jordan Staal went -3.
- A bright spot: Crosby continues his strong play in the faceoff circle, going 14-for-20.
- Four giveaways awarded to Letang.
So, not a good day for the Penguins, not at all. That said, a Game Four victory Tuesday night back in Philly still puts the Flyers on the brink of elimination.
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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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