PENGUINS RALLY TO EARN ANOTHER POINT
PHILADELPHIA – The Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a four-goal deficit to force Friday night's game in Philadelphia into overtime, but the Flyers eventually scored a power-play goal in OT to post a 6-5 victory at the Wachovia Center.
It was the fourth-straight overtime game for the Penguins (0-1-4). Despite the loss, Pittsburgh earned another point in the standings.
In addition, it was the first game back in Philadelphia for ex-Flyers Mark Recchi and John LeClair. The two Penguins contributed a point apiece as LeClair scored Pittsburgh’s first goal, while Recchi had an assist.
Rookie Sidney Crosby tallied his second-career NHL goal and added an assist to record his seventh and eighth points of the season. Crosby has recorded a point in all five of the Penguins’ games this year.
Philadelphia jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Keith Primeau gave the Flyers a 1-0 edge with a power-play game 3:45 into the contest.
Joni Pitkanen boosted Philadelphia’s lead to 2-0 with 3:25 to play in the first period. Following a scrum in front of the net, Pitkanen slammed in a loose puck.
LeClair got his first goal with the Penguins with 2.5 seconds left on the clock in the frame. Crosby circled around the goal and flipped a nice pass to Ric Jackman. Jackman fired a shot on goal and LeClair deflected the puck past Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki.
Simon Gagne boosted Philadelphia’s lead to 3-1 only 1:37 into the second period.
Gagne gave the Flyers a 4-1 advantage when he scored almost an identical goal 2:30 later. The Penguins replaced Marc-Andre Fleury in goal with Sebastien Caron following the play.
Derian Hatcher converted a shorthanded goal on a 2-on-1 when his pass deflected off Jackman’s skate and slid into the goal past Caron.
Ryan Malone produced a power-play goal with 7:49 to play. He took Mario Lemieux’s cross-ice pass and flipped the puck over Niitymaki to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Crosby notched his second goal of the season 57 seconds after Malone’s tally. He deflected Lyle Odelein’s shot from the near point past Nittymaki to make the score 5-3.
Pittsburgh’s Matt Murley appeared to trim the Penguins’ deficit to 5-4 2:53 into the third period when he seemed to slam the puck past Nittymaki, but the goal was waved off following video replay.
Dick Tarnstrom did get the Penguins’ fourth goal on a two-man advantage. He ripped a shot past Nittymaki off assists from Lemieux and Recchi.
Maxime Talbot scored his first NHL goal on a strange play with 8:08 to go. Following a faceoff, Talbot fired the puck from center ice into the Flyers’ zone as the Penguins went for a line change. However, the puck went toward the goal and into the net past Nittymaki, who wasn’t paying attention to the play and still adjusting his equipment. The game-tying goal left fans stunned and the goal judge didn’t even turn on the goal light. Nevertheless, Talbot’s tally tied the game at 5-5.
Brian Savage appeared to give the Flyers a 6-5 lead with 1:11 to play. A long Philadelphia shot deflected off the near post to Savage, who one-timed a shot. Caron reached back and snagged the puck out of the air just before it crossed the goal line for the beautiful save.
Mike Richards nearly gave the Flyers the win with 3:36 remaining in OT, but his shot clanged off the far post.
Mike Rathje finally beat Caron with 1:43 on the clock when he ripped a power-play goal into the net.
Fleury stopped 16 of 20 shots, while Caron saved 19 of 21 opportunities.
The Penguins return home to Mellon Arena at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to face the Tampa Bay Lightning.
ICE CHIPS – The Penguins have won only 17 of 107 games played in Philadelphia…Of those 17 wins, 10 came between the 1988-89 and 1993-94 seasons…Pittsburgh has won just two of last 24 meetings in Philadelphia…Wilkes-Barre/Scranton posted a 3-2 win over Norfolk…Daniel Carcillo, Jonathan Filewich and Ryan Whitney all scored goals for the Baby Penguins.