By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Flyers road to the playoffs goes through Pittsburgh in a critical matinée versus the Penguins. going into the game, the Penguins are only two points above the Flyers in the standings so it is important for Philadelphia to win this edition of the Battle of Pennsylvania.
First period: The Flyers actually came out of the gate with some energy, something they haven’t done in seemingly weeks. Sanheim opened the scoring with a laser from the point thanks to a great drop pass from Weal. the Penguins answered back as Sheary delivered a great Alley-oop pass over the flyers defense and Brassard scored on the resulting breakaway. Though the Flyers showed some resilience and it came from an unlikely source. Manning scored on another point blast this time off a drop pass from Filppula.
Second period: The Pens capitalized on the 1:49 of hangover powerplay time almost immediately when Hornqvist tipped in a puck that was sitting in the blue paint. Pens struck again exactly two minutes later thanks to a delayed penalty they spent over 45 seconds in the flyers zone which was capped off by a Malkin goal. Lyon was pulled to and give the team a jump. Weal evened up the score on the powerplay, making it his first three-point game.
Third period: Penguins again open the scoring early in the period as Crosby scored after turning Couturier inside out and putting one past Mrazek just 17 seconds in. the rest of the period was a back and forth affair as the Flyers desperately tried to tie it up. After Philly pulled the Mrazek Couturier buried the tying shot with less than one minute left.
Overtime: A relatively tame OT ended when Rust tipped in a Crosby blast the Mrazek had no chance of saving giving the Pens the 5-4 win.
Takeaways: The Flyers came out swinging, but sputtered out as the game went on. Luckily they got one point out of this game, which is vital to their playoff hopes. Penguins certainly are not the team I’d want to play on the playoffs.
Three stars of the game:
3) Jordan Weal
2) Sidney Crosby
1) Justin Schultz
PHI: Sanheim (Weal, Simmonds)
PIT: Brassard (Sheary, Kessel)
PHI: Manning (Filppula, Weal)
PIT: Hornqvist (Kessel, Schultz)
PIT: Malkin (Schultz, Dumoulin)
PHI: Weal (Lindblom, Gostisbehere)
PIT: Crosby (Schultz, Guentzel)
PHI: Couturier (Giroux, Gostisbehere)
PIT: Rust (Letang, Crosby)