Aftermath: Penguins 3, Flyers 2 SO
Thursday, 12.17.2009 / 10:39 PM / Features
By Jason Seidling
|Philadelphia tallied the opening goal for the first time in three meetings with the Penguins in 2009-10. As has been the case all season, the Penguins were totally unfazed and responded with a power-play goal of their own 2:33 later off the stick of Bill Guerin.
Unlike Tuesday night when it was the Penguins who dominated the play over the final two periods, the Flyers had the better of the quality scoring chances as they outshot the Penguins, 22-16, over the final 45 minutes. Clutch netminding from Marc-Andre Fleury allowed the Penguins to take the game beyond regulation.
Just like it has all season the shootout session benefitted the Penguins as Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby each scored while Philadelphia failed to get a puck behind Fleury. The Penguins are now 5-0 in shootouts and 8-1 overall when the game stretches past 60 minutes.
|PHILADELPHIA – Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby scored in a shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2.
Bill Guerin and Crosby scored in regulation for the Penguins, and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 of 33 shots. Fleury stopped Danny Briere and Claude Giroux in the shootout.
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT|
Sidney Crosby beats Brian Boucher in the shootout
(photo by Getty)
|What Worked Well: Net-Front Presence
It would be easy to say that the reconfigured power play was the key to Thursday’s victory but the reason it was so successful was the net-front presence provided by Chris Kunitz. On both goals it was Kunitz who kept pucks alive following initial shots by jamming away at the rebounds. He barely the touched the puck on both instances, but got credit for two hard-earned assists.
What Could Have Gone Better: Defending Jeff Carter
Nitpicking is tough after you improve to 2-0 in the home rink of your archrival but finishing off such a victory could have been a little easier had the Penguins done a better job marking Jeff Carter. The power forward tallied the opening goal of the game and was dominant all evening in tying Sidney Crosby with a game-high seven shots.
|Lost in all the talk of how Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin torture the Flyers is the work Marc-Andre Fleury has done in the City of Brotherly Love. His 31-save effort on Thursday improved his all-time record against the Flyers to 18-6 in 26 career games.
Philadelphia threw the kitchen sink at the Penguins during the final two-plus periods while outshooting the Penguins, 22-16. Fleury found many ways to throw his body in front of 21 of those shots. His best saves included a glove save on Danny Briere when he was lying on his side and a right pad save on Arron Asham’s breakaway attempt.
|A Penguin fell down during a two-on-two rush for the Flyers and Jeff Carter took advantage. Carter skated the puck to the top of the crease and threw a backhander past Marc-Andre Fleury to open the scoring. Philadelphia 1, Pittsburgh 0.
With the Penguins on a power play Evgeni Malkin threw a wrist shot off Brian Boucher from the top of the left circle. Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin both banged away at the rebound before Guerin moved the biscuit from his backhand to his forehand and deposited the puck into the net. Pittsburgh 1, Philadelphia 1.
Daniel Carcillo walked out of the near corner during a Philadelphia power play and sent a bad-angle shot off the pad of Fleury. Claude Giroux picked up the rebound and his shot went over the shoulder of Fleury to give the Flyers their second lead. Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1.
Sergei Gonchar’s shot from the point missed the net and Boucher stopped the rebound from Kunitz. Chris Pronger’s clearing attempt of the Kunitz shot landed on the blade of Sidney Crosby, whose slap shot flew over the shoulder of Boucher. Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 2.
Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby tallied the only goals of the shootout to secure the victory for the Penguins. Neither Danny Briere nor Claude Giroux hit the net on their attempts. Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 2.
|It’s a pretty safe bet the Penguins will be keeping their new power-play configuration featuring Evgeni Malkin at the left point for the foreseeable future after they scored both of their goals with the man-advantage and went 2-for-5 overall. Malkin’s hard wrist shot from the left circle allowed Bill Guerin to score on the rebound just minutes after the Flyers opened the scoring. The Penguins are 3-for-9 in two games since changing the personnel on their top unit.
As is always the case when these two teams get together the action was fast and there was plenty of physical activity and post-whistle exchanges. Just 48 hours earlier the two teams dropped the gloves three times in a 16-second span in the first period but only one fight broke out in this game. Mike Rupp and Arron Asham exchanged punches at 5:45 of the opening period.
The fans at the Wachovia Center continued to boo and berate Sidney Crosby each time he touched the puck. Like usual he brushed it all off his shoulder and did what he does best – torch the Flyers. Crosby was a factor all over the ice as he notched a power-play goal in the second period, led the Penguins with seven shots on goal, scored in the shootout and went 13-8 on faceoffs.
|> Scoring Summary:
PHI, J. Carter (12), 1:15 1st period: Flyers 1, Penguins 0
PIT, B. Guerin PP (9), 3:48 1st period: Penguins 1, Flyers 1
PHI, C. Giroux PP (7), 2:04 2nd period: Flyers 2, Penguins 1
PIT, S. Crosby PP (22), 9:17 2nd period: Penguins 2, Flyers 2
SO, (K. Letang) (S. Crosby), Penguins 3, Flyers 2
> The Penguins won their NHL-best 24th game of the season and now have a 24-10-1 record through the first 35 games of the season, including a 12-5 mark away from Mellon Arena.
> The Penguins are now 4-0 all-time against the Flyers in shootouts.
> Since head coach Dan Bylsma took over on Feb. 15 of last season the Penguins have an overall record of 42-13-5 and are 20-7-3 on the road.
> Pittsburgh is 12-3-1 since Evgeni Malkin’s return on Nov. 14 against the Boston Bruins.
> The Penguins had two sets of home-and-home series scheduled in 2009-10 and they swept them both after also taking back-to-back contests from the New York Rangers on Nov. 28 and 30.
> Sidney Crosby’s goal in the second period extended his scoring streak to three games (2G-3A). Crosby now has 17 points (10G-7A) over the past eight games that he has played. Crosby’s 22 goals trail only Marian Gaborik’s 24 tallies.
> Crosby improved his career totals against the Flyers to 50 points (22G-28A) in 29 games. Additionally, Crosby’s shootout goal made him a perfect 5-for-5 in those situations in 2009-10.
> Evgeni Malkin also extended both his point streak and his assist streak to three games with his assist on Bill Guerin’s first-period goal. Malkin has two goals and three assists during that stretch. Malkin also has nine points (2G-7A) in his past seven games.
> Sergei Gonchar has quietly put a nice streak together with points and assists in four consecutive contests. Gonchar has five points (1G-4A) in his past four games. Gonchar also has 11 points (2G-9A) over his past 11 games.
> Jordan Staal appeared in his 255th consecutive game against the Flyers to move him into sole possession of third-place on the team’s all-time consecutive games played list surpassing Evgeni Malkin.
> Bill Guerin’s goal gives him points in seven of his past nine games (3G-4A).
> Marc-Andre Fleury’s victory gave him 20 on the season, tying him for second-most in the league, one behind Martin Brodeur. Fleury has now stopped nine of the 10 shots he has faced in the shootout.
> Fleury now has a career record of 18-6 against the Flyers, the most wins he has posted against any one team.
|THREE STARS||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT|
|1. K. Letang
2. M. Fleury
3. J. Carter
|"They had really good chances and there were some flurries. He was very good tonight."
- Dan Bylsma on Marc-Andre Fleury
Author: Jason Seidling