Pens-Flyers Game 2: In-Game Blog
Friday, 04.13.2012 / 6:30 PM ET / 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Coverage
By Michelle Crechiolo
FLYERS 8, PENS 5
0:00: Horn sounds. Flyers take Game 2 and a 2-0 series lead.
0:06: Giroux gets an empty-netter to complete his hat trick. GOAL: GIROUX - HAT TRICK. FLYERS 8, PENS 5
0:54: Bylsma uses his timeout.
1:25: Pens have pulled Fleury for the extra attacker.
1:49: After Neal JUST misses a diving pokecheck into an open net, Couturier completes the hat trick on the other end. GOAL: COUTURIER - HAT TRICK. FLYERS 7, PENS 5
4:14: Pens create a couple of good chances these last few minutes, but they can't solve Bryzgalov.
7:27: What's scary about the offense of this Philly team is that their heroes of Game 1 - the Briere line (Briere, Schenn, Simmonds) - are pointless in Game 2.
8:54: Talbot's really trying to get under his former teammates' skins. First Letang, now Malkin in the corner of the Flyers zone.
|"We have to get that goal back. #nhl #Pens"
10:47: Jagr gets a pass between the circles, turns, fires, and scores. Flyers take the lead for the first time tonight. GOAL: JAGR. FLYERS 6, PENS 5.
11:15: After a couple of big hits by the Pens on the forecheck, the Flyers head down the ice and get a decent chance. It's broken up by Lovejoy stickchecking a Philly forward. This is nerve-racking.
14:12: Fleury comes up with a big glove save on a puck that's bouncing everywhere. Letang and Talbot have some words afterward. No penalties are called.
15:09: Orpik steps up and lays out Voracek, who would have had a sure breakaway if he had gotten by No. 44. He gets some free candy instead.
15:30: Adams gets a good chance on a rebound opportunity, but his repeated attempts to dig the puck out from under Bryzgalov are in vain.
18:39: Lovejoy gets a drop pass off a faceoff just outside his own blue line. He goes to make a pass of his own to clear the zone and it deflects off Couturier, who goes in on Fleury and nets his second goal of the game. GOAL: COUTURIER. PENS 5, FLYERS 5
18:56: And we have yet another early goal! Cooke carries into the corner and threads a perfect pass through some Flyers to Kennedy, who backhands a shot through Bryzgalov's pads to regain the lead! GOAL: KENNEDY. PENS 5, FLYERS 4
|"The #Pens have to come out in the 3rd like DRAGONS."
20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!
After the Pens got a big goal in the waning seconds of the first period, it was the Flyers' turn to do the exact same with just 2.8 seconds left in the second. That leaves the Pens and Flyers tied at 4-4 entering the third. Let's see how the Pens respond.
- Kunitz has produced his first career two-goal playoff performance (both tallies coming on the PP).
- Adams and Orpik have been wrecking balls on the ice with 5 hits each.
- Pens are 2-for-4 on the PP, but have surrendered 2 shorthanded goals.
- Giroux has seven of Philly's 20 shots.
- Malkin has won 8 of 10 faceoffs.
0:00: That'll do it for the second. Pens and Flyers tied 4-4 thanks to a late goal by Couturier. Shots: Flyers 20, Pens 19.
0:02: And the Flyers get a ridiculously huge goal with 2 seconds left in the period. Couturier is all alone on the backdoor and taps home a puck that comes his way. GOAL: COUTURIER. PENS 4, FLYERS 4
1:30: Another Flyer derailed by an old school hip check!!! This one comes from James Neal on Brayden Schenn.
|"#Flyers #Pens is by far the best series so far. Wow, the best hockey I've seen in ages."
4:30: That PK was a huge improvement over Pittsburgh's first one. They were much more aggressive, got big clears when they needed them and to top it off, an obscene kick save from the Flower.
5:30: Funny little sequence just occurred when Timonen held the blue line with a nifty soccer kick...and Dupuis cleared it right back out with a soccer kick of his own. Duper's favorite sport to play besides hockey is soccer. Alright, back to the game.
6:36: All 3 Pens forwards get caught down low and that results in a 4-on-2 Flyers rush. Letang breaks up a pass with his stick, but the puck subsequently sails over the glass and he will go to the box for delay of game. Flyers to the PP.
8:50: And the Pens answer six seconds later! Malkin wins the opening faceoff forward. Neal gets a shot from the circle. Kunitz stuffs home the rebound into the open net. Bing, bang, BOOM. GOAL: KUNITZ. PENS 4, FLYERS 3
8:56: Flyers get their second shorthanded goal of the game 11 seconds in. Giroux fires a shot from the same area he scored his last one to tie the game. GOAL: GIROUX. PENS 3, FLYERS 3.
9:07: Pens getting another PP as Schenn goes to the box.
|"Adams is such a beast !!! #pens"
9:18: Adams has been an absolute wrecking ball so far tonight. He just flattened Simmonds with a big open-ice hit near the Flyers blue line.
10:27: Malkin's line just created a couple of solid scoring chances at the end of their shift. They hadn't been getting pucks deep during the first part of their shift.
12:37: Bryzgalov's turn to come up with a flashy save as he stones Steve Sullivan just outside the crease. He's been huge for the Flyers so far tonight.
13:17: Fleury just stoned old road roommate Talbot on a breakaway!!! Huge save from the Flower. Both goalies coming up with some clutch saves so far tonight.
14:49: The Flyers convert their PP with 49 seconds left. Giroux picks a corner with a wrister from the slot. Pens weren't able to clear the puck out of their zone at all during that PK. GOAL: GIROUX. PENS 3, FLYERS 2
16:03: Now the Pens are going to the PK as Crosby goes off for intereference. Flyers' 1st unit: Timonen, Voracek, Giroux, Hartnell, Simmonds.
16:08: Pens don't convert that man-advantage, but they did everything short of putting the puck in the net. Lots of great chances.
17:16: That was an outstanding first minute of PP time. Pens nearly solved Bryzgalov a few times, but he came up with some pretty humongous big saves.
18:08: After scoring a big goal late in the first, Martin draws a penalty as he carries the puck out of his zone and up the ice. Rinaldo goes for hooking. Pens sticking with same first unit: Sullivan, Letang, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz.
19:26: Fleury has to come up with a big save early as Hartnell tries for a backdoor pass over to an open Giroux. 'Flower' leaps and gobbles up the puck.
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
Let's start the second period with the in-arena pumper video...
The Pens came out with literally their fastest start (well, tied for their fastest start) in franchise history when Sidney Crosby scored just 15 seconds in to start Game 2. That would be the start of a fast, action-packed 20 minutes. The Pens did a lot of good things in that period. They played incredibly physical; there were about four highlight-worthy hits out of Pittsburgh's 13 total checks. They converted one of their two PP chances with a slightly adjusted first unit (Sullivan, Letang, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz). They broke out of their end well, avoiding the cluttered boards and using the center forward. They forced Laviolette to use his timeout early. But there's still 40 minutes left to play. Let's see what happens.
- The Pens adjusted their top PP unit. Sullivan is now on the point with Letang, Malkin, Neal, and Kunitz.
- Crosby has a goal and an assist for four points through 2 games.
- Dupuis had two assists in the first. He now has points in 19 straight games (including regular season).
- Malkin went 6-1 on faceoffs (86 percent).
0:00: End of the first here at CONSOL. Pens have a 3-1 lead and an 11-7 edge in shots.
0:17: Pens regain their two-goal lead with a big tally from Paulie Martin! Crosby enters the zone and weaves into the slot. The logical choice seems to be to shoot, but the world's greatest player has other plans. He drops a pass to Martin, who whips a wrister into the side of the net for his first goal ever in this building! GOAL: MARTIN. PENS 3, FLYERS 1
3:26: There has been no shortage of highlight-worthy hits in this game. The latest is from Kris Letang, who just laid an old-school hip check on Zac Rinaldo and sent him head over heels.
4:24: Pens doing a great job with their breakouts so far tonight. They're really utilizing the center forward and not trying to force anything up the boards.
7:16: With 11 seconds left on Grossmann's penalty, the Flyers score. Fleury saves Giroux's initial breakaway, but Talbot is the trailer who puts home the rebound. GOAL: TALBOT. PENS 2, FLYERS 1
|"That save was redonk. For sure thought Tanger had that one #pens"
7:37: Bryzgalov just made an absolutely ABSURD save. Letang was alone on the backdoor with the puck, but Bryz slides across and barely manages to glove his shot. Letang is knocked to the ground after the play by Read, who gets two for roughing while Letang gets two for diving. The penalties will not count on the board.
9:05: Grossmann gets his second penalty in a matter of minutes, this time for holding. Pens back to the PP. Hartnell mixes it up with Malkin after the whistle and the crowd begins a thunderous chant of "HARTNELL SUCKS!"
|"Well...well look at that #26 & #58 at the points...A PP goal.#Pens"
|"What a play by Letang to keep that puck in the zone and a great pass from @jneal_18 to kunitz for the goal! #Pens"
10:33: Letang and Malkin work some magic to hold the blue line. The puck finds Neal's stick, who passes to Kunitz just outside the blue paint. No. 14 taps it in for the PP goal with 1:07 left on the man-advantage! Flyers coach Laviolette uses his timeout. GOAL: KUNITZ. PENS 2, FLYERS 0 .
11:26: Malkin's line creates a great scoring chance (with help from the D keeping the puck in) and they draw a penalty as a result. Pens to the PP as Grossmann goes for hooking. Pens adjust their first unit, using Sullivan at the point, Letang and Malkin at the halfwalls and Kunitz and Neal down low.
12:00: Flyers have mustered just one shot on goal so far this period.
NOTE: SIDNEY CROSBY'S GOAL AT 0:15 TIES THE FRANCHISE RECORD FOR THE FASTEST GOAL TO START A PLAYOFF GAME. (Greg Malone, April 8, 1981, at St. Louis).
|"Goal was great but how about these hits! Passing out checks like it's the first of the month."
14:44: Now Adams hits Lilja with a thunderous check in the corner of the Flyers zone! Pens have amped up the physicality from zero to 60 in two short shifts.
15:20: Brooks Orpik just handed out some free candy to Eric Wellwood by the boards in the neutral zone, sending the Flyers rookie into midair. Huge hit from No. 44.
16:55: The Pens couldn't have gotten off to a better start, but they're being a bit loose with pucks in their zone and in the neutral zone. That will likely be something they address as the game goes on.
19:31: Note: the arena got so loud when Sid scored, I think I temporarily lost my hearing. The crowd absolutely exploded. Goosebumps.
WATCH SID'S GOAL BELOW:
|"That's the start the penguins wanted #Pens #NHLPlayoffs #Sup"
|"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM #C #Pens #nhlse"
19:45: And the Pens strike 15 seconds in! Engelland banks a pass from his own corner off the boards to Dupuis, who has to kick it to his blade and dishes to Crosby. Sid passes over to Sullivan (while sandwiched by a pair of defenders), who touches it right back. Sid goes to one knee to absolutely blast a slapshot past Bryzgalov! GOAL: CROSBY. PENS 1, FLYERS 0
20:00: Puck drops to start the first. Crosby's line starts against the shutdown trio of Couturier, Talbot and Rinaldo. Here we go! Game on!!!
Pens go with the same lineup as they did for Game 1.
Marc-Andre Fleury in goal.
Though I'm a horrible mathematician, let's have a little fun with numbers before the game starts, shall we? (Luckily PR extraordinare Jason Seidling is the one who put these stats together).
Pittsburgh is 9-1 all-time at home in Game 2 following a loss in Game 1. The Pens' only loss in this instance was Game 2 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Washington (5-3). The Pens rebounded in that series to win the next 4 games.
- The Pens are 6-2 in their last eight Game 2s played at home.
- Pittsburgh is 7-3 in its last 10 playoff games following a loss.
- The Pens have followed each of their last 3 postseason losses to Philly with wins in the next game.
- Pittsburgh has won 4 straight playoff games in the next contest following an overtime postseason loss.
Good evening everyone! It's been a gorgeous day and now it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Tonight the Pens are looking to bounce back from their 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers in Game 1 with a win in Game 2 here at CONSOL Energy Center. While both teams would like to learn from mistakes they both made on Wednesday, they know they ultimately must turn the page on that contest as tonight is a clean slate.
I think Philly's Danny Briere said it best this morning when he remarked, "I really believe that there is no momentum in hockey from game to game. There is within the game itself, but from game to game it’s a new chapter."
One club is looking to recover from a tough Game 1 defeat and even the series at 1-1. The other is looking to earn a 2-0 series lead on the road to take back to their hometown. Which team will emerge victorious? We'll know soon enough.
We'll have all the action (along with plenty of photos and videos from in and around the arena) here in the game blog. But before the puck drops at 7:38 p.m., check back for Pittsburgh's official lineup.
I started Wednesday's blog with Pittsburgh's own Mac Miller; now let's start tonight's with another homegrown talent in Wiz Khalifa and his anthem "Black and Yellow" (even though the forecast says there's going to be another whiteout in the building tonight). Let's show the Flyers the true meaning of home-ice advantage.