Pens-Flyers In-Game Blog
Saturday, 04.7.2012 / 2:30 PM ET / Features
By Sam Kasan
PENS 4, FLYERS 2
0:00: That'll do it. Pens end the season with a 4-2 win over the Flyers. They now have 51 wins and 108 points on the season (both the second-best totals in franchise history). Pens salute the fans at center ice.
1:45: Pens kill the penalty. The regular season is about to conclude.
3:47: MacIntyre gets whistled for interference. Pens PK gets some late work.
6:30: Time is winding down in the regular season. Pens still holding a 4-2 lead and have a 22-19 edge in shots.
11:06: Both penalties have expired and we're back to even strength. Johnson makes a couple of nice saves as Philadelphia starts pressing.
14:31: Malkin goes to the box for cross checking. We'll skate 4-on-4 for the next 1:18.
15:13: The Pens are going back to the power play. Zolnierczyk is called for tripping.
20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Twenty minutes to paydirt.
The Pens used a couple late goals to mount a 4-2 advantage after 40 minutes. Pittsburgh was led by their stars in the middle frame. Crosby scored on the power play to give the Pens a 3-2 lead. Malkin added on with his career-best 50th goal of the season to make it a two-goal advantage. The Pens made a goalie switch midway through the second period, which was pre-planned by the coaching staff. Johnson came in with eight minutes to go and is expected to finish the contest between the pipes.
0:00: Horn sounds. Pens take a 4-2 lead into the third period thanks to a couple late scores by their superstars. Crosby and Malkin score in the final two minutes to break a 2-2 tie.
|"Make me 50 milkshakes MALKIN! @malkin71_ atta boy Geno! #Pens "
0:12: 50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Malkin has the puck in the slot and buries it behind his fellow countryman for his 50th goal of the season!! "MVP! MVP!" fills the air. PENS 4, FLYERS 2.
|"Sidney Crosby, nonchalant backhand, nbd. "
2:06: The Pens PP strikes gold!! Bobrovsky goes down during a scramble in front of the net. Crosby finds the puck and cooly lifts a backhander over the prone netminder. PENS 3, FLYERS 2.
2:42: Former 'guin Jaromir Jagr is called for hooking and the Pens will go on the PP.
3:46: The Pens kill off the penalty. Johnson looks sharp with some quick saves during the kill.
5:48: Letang is called for interference and the Flyers will go back on the power play.
7:06: Jagr ties the game with a power-play goal. He collects a pass in the slot and slides in under Johnson's legs. PENS 2, FLYERS 2.
8:00: The Flyers hard work pays off with a power play as Orpik will take a seat.
Fleury leaves the game and Brent Johnson enters the game. Fleury remains on the bench.
8:09: The Flyers posing a serious challenge right now. Pens were stuck in their own zone for some time. Fleury has to come up with a couple difficult saves, including a weird shot by Harnell at the side of the cage.
10:23: Crosby carries the puck down the far side with Malkin driving to the net. Crosby tries to feed Malkin, but the pass is blocked by Carle.
12:45: Kunitz squeezes a puck through Bobrovsky to reclaim the lead for Pittsburgh. That's his career-high 26th goal of the year. It was also his 60th point of the season, which ties a career high (2006-07, Anaheim).
13:08: Pens fans set a new attendance record today with 18,616 fans at CONSOL Energy Center. That's the most people ever to watch a hockey game in Pittsburgh (minus the Winter Classic of course)
13:23: Staal gets a great look at the net. Cooke throws a big hit and wins a puck battle behind the net. He finds Staal in front (Jagr lost track of Staal on the play). Bobrovsky makes the stop to bail out his winger.
|"i usually set the thermostat for 66, sometimes 71,but never ever 68. #pens"
20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Second period underway.
The first period was a penalty-filled affair as each team had two power-play opportunities. The Pens missed a great opportunity on a five-minute major advantage when they failed to score. Hopefully, it doesn't come back to bite them in the end. Vitale answered the code by dropping the gloves with Zolnierczyk. And Vitale certainly got the better of that encounter.
0:00: Horn sounds. First period comes to an end. The game is tied at 1-1 on goals by Dupuis and Schenn.
0:52: The penalty expires but the Flyers do even the score. Schenn finds a rebound in the slot and snaps a shot past Fleury blocker side. PENS 1, FLYERS 1.
3:00: Now Philadelphia gets a shot with the man-advantage as Orpik is called for tripping.
3:38: The Flyers PK unit comes up big with a successful kill to keep it a one-goal game.
4:35: The Flyers created a 2-on-1 rush heading into the offensive zone but Letang slid on the ice to break up the pass and eliminate the shorthanded chance.
8:45: The Pens will be getting a lengthy power play as Rinaldo is assessed a five-minute major checking from behind penalty. He's also assessed a game misconduct and exits the ice.
9:15: The Flyers kill off the power play. Malkin was going for No. 50, shooting every chance he got. His teammates were assisting by trying to set him up as much as possible. Also want to note a great backcheck by Kunitz to offset a 2-on-2 rush for Philly. Great hustle.
11:17: Now the Pens will go on the power play. Voracek is whistled for goaltender interferece for trying to skate through Fleury.
11:47: The Pens PK unit kills off the power play. Big props to Jordan Staal with a superb effort. Boos raining down every time Jagr touches the puck. This will be a fun playoff series.
13:52: The Flyers will be getting the game's first power play as Strait is sent to the box for tripping. The Flyers have scored the most PP goals in the NHL this season.
|"17 GAME POINT STREAK CONTINUES FOR BIRTHDAY BOY #SUPERDUPER!!!! #pens"
14:27: Pascal Dupuis' superduper streak hits 17 games!! Asham makes a diving pass to Dupuis above the far circle. His one-timer beats Bobrovsky through the legs for the score. PENS 1, FLYERS 0.
17:38: Off a faceoff Joe Vitale and Harry Zolnierczyk drop the gloves. Vitale gets the best of his counterpart in this one as he lands a few blows and Zolnierczyk goes down. This was spill over from Vitale's hit on Briere in the final minute of the last game these two teams met. Zolnierczyk did his job by challenging and Vitale answered the call. Now that it's out of the way, both teams can get back to playing hockey.
20:00: Puck drops. Game on. First period is underway.
The Pens will use the following lines and d-pairs against Philadelphia.
Fleury in goal. Flyers using Bobrovsky.
Malkin going for 50 goals. Cooke going for 20 goals. Let's see if they hit their milestones.
Flyers Paul Holmgren said that center Claude Giroux will not play in today's game due to an upper-body injury.
Here is all of what head coach Dan Bylsma said to the media prior to today's game...
On the decision to call up Steve MacIntyre:
We’re really not expecting anything in the game of that nature, nor is it a situation where, for our team, we’re doing anything but going out to try and win in every situation, whether it’s a faceoff, whether it’s a puck battle. That’s our mentality going into this game and the situations in the game. For Steve MacIntyre, this is not the first game he’s played against the Flyers this year.
On the importance of getting Fleury a start:
I think with goaltenders, what is good rest and staying and seeing shots and game action is a tough thing to balance. Sometimes the goaltender would like to play every night and thinks he can play every night. They need rest throughout the season. This is a situation where he rested earlier this week. We’re a ways from playing a game if he doesn’t get into some action today. So he’ll get the start. He still has a few days before the playoffs start.
On if he’d like Johnson to get some action today as well:
That’s why I thought it was so important for Johnny to get his second start this week (against Boston). He played that first start in Buffalo. To get him another game was important for him. You can see after coming back from the time he was out with the injury and the time away from playing, he was much more comfortable and looked real good in that second game. I thought that was really important for Johnny.
On if the league reached out to the teams before this game:
The league has not done anything like that. We fully intend to play within the rules. There is not a lot that can be gained at this point in time by going outside of that. We’re going to win the battles, go to win the game and next week we’ll start Game 1.
On how close his team is to reaching the point they need to be for the playoffs:
At this time of year, it’s a tough gauge because some games don’t have the same importance as they do if you’re fighting to get in the playoffs and you finally get in. The next game is not the same as the previous 10-20 that you had been battling in. So sometimes at this time of the season you see it every year. It’s tough to have a gauge on your team. But there are certain areas of our game we’ve wanted to pay close attention to. I think we’ve gotten better in those areas and shown the attention to detail in our game that we need to have. That’s still something we’re looking at tonight in this game as well.
The regular season comes to an end in a few hours. And after 82 games the Pens are locked into the fourth seed in the East and will open the Stanley Cup playoffs against cross-state rival Philadelphia. But before the playoffs begin, the two teams will meet in a playoff preview to end the regular season at CONSOL Energy Center.
Head coach Dan Bylsma said that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start. He enters the game with 226 career wins, tying Tom Barrasso for most in franchise history. Fleury can become the team's winningest netminder with a W today. (The Flyers tweeted that Sergei Bobrovsky will be in goal for Philly).
Bylsma said the rest of the lineup will be game-time decisions. Two more milestones could possibly be reached depending on who plays and who doesn't. Evgeni Malkin is one goal away from hitting the 50-goal mark and Matt Cooke is one goal from the 20-goal mark.
Below Steve Mears gives you a look at what to expect from today's action.