Within the again finish some of the topsy-turvy back-to-back units I can recall, the Penguins turned the tables on Philly final evening at Wells Fargo Middle. Nevertheless, the 7-3 black-and-gold triumph wasn’t fairly as decisive or convincing because it sounds.
In actual fact, the sport just about adopted the identical sample because the earlier evening’s 7-2 Flyers win, solely in reverse. Eerily so. This time it was the Pens who dominated the opening 20 minutes, outshooting their hosts, 11-7, and snatching the early lead on a tally from an unlikely supply…light-scoring d-man Marcus Pettersson.
The Pens prolonged their lead within the second interval on targets by Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby. For a time it appeared we’d breeze to a straightforward victory. However…
…this group by no means appears to do issues the simple manner. Philly countered with targets by Justin Braun and Sean Couturier to shut inside one heading into the ultimate body.
The Flyers continued their surge within the third interval whereas we for probably the most half gave the impression to be in complete disarray. Certainly, Philly piled up a ridiculous 13-2 edge in shot makes an attempt and a 6-1 benefit in photographs on objective over the primary eight minutes. We didn’t win puck battles and ceded floor in our zone just like the Italian Military throughout World Battle II (sorry paisans). We appeared intent on giving the sport away.
Completely exasperated, I yelled at nobody particularly, “Will somebody simply go get the puck!”
They have to’ve heard me. As a result of moments later Kasperi Kapanen stole the puck from Claude Giroux and bumped it to Evgeni Malkin. The large middle fired a tough go to Jason Zucker on the entrance of the online. Jason hasn’t regarded too handsy this season, however he certain did on this play. He made a wonderful turning backhand-to-forehand transfer and roofed a shot from point-blank vary. A goal-scorer’s objective.
I exhaled. 4-two lead, we’ve just about received this one within the bag.
Not so quick. Travis Konecny, who simply tortures us, fired a sharp-angle shot from the sideboards that hit the skate of Pens defenseman John Marino and deflected in. This sport was turning into manner too fascinating.
Crosby should’ve thought so, too. At 12:33 of the interval he gathered in a brief go from Bryan Rust and ripped it residence from the left faceoff dot for his second objective of the sport and twenty second of the marketing campaign.
With that, Philly mercifully light. Close to the 16-minute mark, ex-Flyer Mark Friedman tucked residence an empty-netter…and was cross-checked into the boards by Shayne Gostisbehere as a send-off. Zach Aston-Reese took exception, igniting a scrum. Marino delivered a last exclamation level, scoring on a sharp-angle shot on the following energy play to drive the ultimate nail into the Flyers’ coffin.
The Flyers outshot the Pens, 33-31, and as soon as once more dominated the faceoff circle, successful 57 p.c of the attracts. They outhit us, 24-17.
The sport was a chippy affair. Friedman took middle stage in among the tough stuff and so did Konecny. The peppery ahead tussled with Sid (and received the worst of it) and slew-footed Rust from behind, inflicting No. 17 to overlook many of the second interval. Fortunately, Rusty returned for the third.
Crosby paced the Pens with a bounce-back efficiency, amassing two targets and an help whereas garnering top-star honors. Guentzel, the second star, tallied three factors as properly (a objective and two helpers).
Malkin picked up two assists and regarded extra snug in his second sport again from damage. Cody Ceci topped the Pens with a plus-three.
Fourteen gamers confirmed up on the scoresheet for the locals. Spectacular.
The Pens maintain a two-point edge over Washington within the race for the MassMutual East crown. The Caps have two video games in hand. The Bruins, who likewise have two video games in hand, reside in third place with 69 factors, adopted by the Islanders with 68. Losers of three in a row, the Rangers have formally been eradicated from postseason play.
Good to see ZAR arise for Friedman. Talking of the previous Flyer, whereas he isn’t precisely an apples-to-apples alternative for Mark Matheson, he has wheels, possesses some offensive capability and provides a splash of grit and mustard.
Early within the second interval Friedman shocked Joel Farabee, drawing a retaliatory cross-check from Jakub Voracek. Then he dropped the gloves with Farabee. In contrast to most of our guys, he appears to have some concept of find out how to deal with himself in a struggle. Solely want this child was 6’3” 210 as an alternative of 5’11” 185.
The Voracek penalty led to Guentzel’s power-play objective.
*Be sure you take a look at Rick Bukers books,
out there at TriumphBooks.com,