By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
It’s that time of year again, the late-season battle of Pennsylvania. Both teams enter this game on shaky ground as they have each lost key games recently. The Penguins sit in second place in the Metro with 80 points, and the Flyers sit in third place with 79 points, so this will be one of the most important games of the season.
First period: Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks joined Pierre inside the glass which lead to a period of hilarity and annoyance as Pierre tried to explain every play to him. The first period was filled with multiple penalties, as the Flyers took four and the Pens got called twice. It was the fourth call of the period, a high-sticking on Lindblom, that the Penguins finally capitalized on as Kessel buried a great pass from Malkin.
Second period: The Flyers struck early as Patrick tipped a pass from Voracek past Jarry. Konecny would be the next to strike as he somehow managed to ricochet the puck from behind Jarry into the net. The rest of the period was all Pittsburgh.
Oleksiak scored from the point as there was much traffic in front of Mrazek, the Flyers challenged for goalie interference, but failed and the goal stood. The Flyers would fail to cash in on two powerplays and Sheary would make them pay as he scored two consecutive goals. The first was a rebound from a Crosby setup and the second was an unlucky bounce as the puck deflected off of Manning onto the stick of Sheary.
Third period: The Penguins kept the pressure on the Flyers all period and made it impossible for a comeback. Malkin buried the empty netter to give the Pens a 5-2 win.
Takeaways: This is the second straight game where they Flyers were border line lifeless. That’s not a good sign especially when the playoffs are just a couple of weeks away and they still have to secure a playoff spot.
Three stars of the game:
3) Jake Guentzel
2) Sidney Crosby
1) Connor Sheary
PIT: Kessel (Crosby, Malkin)
PHI: Voracek (Patrick)
PHI: Konecny (MacDonald, Giroux)
PIT: Oleksiak (Schultz, Guentzel)
PIT: Sheary (Oleksiak, Crosby)
PIT: Sheary (Crosby, Guentzel)
PIT: Malkin (Hagelin, Sheahan)
Photo credit: nymag.com