Pittsburgh leads series 2-1
The Philadelphia Flyers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and never trailed at any point of the game as the Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 Sunday afternoon at the Wachovia Center to cut the Penguins series lead in half.
Looking to get off to a quick start and build off of the home crowd, Jeff Carter (2:59) and Mike Richards (5:14) scored their first goals of the series within 2:15 of each other in the first period as the Flyers put the Penguins on the ropes early.
The game was physical from the drop of the puck as¬†a total of 32 penalty minutes were assessed in the first period, including a bone-crushing hit by Penguins forward Chris Kunitz on Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timmonen.
Pittsburgh countered the Flyers physical play in the first period, hit-for-hit and Evgeni Malkin (3) got the Penguins on the board at 19:48 of the first period.
The Flyers had a defensive breakdown in front and left Malkin all alone in the slot, who buried a pass from Ruslan Fedotenko.
Evgeni Malkin‚Äôs late period goal had momentum turning towards the Penguins. 13 seconds into the second period, defenseman Rob Scuderi scored his first career playoff goal to tie the game at 2-2. Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz assisted on Scuderi‚Äôs second period tally
Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere were non-existent for the first two games of the series but both players came up big in game 3.
Giroux halted the Penguins momentum, scoring his 1st goal of the playoffs at 4:32 of the second period. Giroux took a beautiful pass from Daniel Briere in front of the net and put it past Penguins goaltender Marc Andre Fleury.
Giroux struck again only minutes later short-handed, controlling the puck behind the net while two Penguins defenders came to him and setting up Simone Gagne who beat Marc Andre Fleury short side at 8:32 of the second period to put the Flyers up 4-2.
Philadelphia added to their lead in the third period as fourth liner Jared Ross scored his first NHL goal, less than four minutes into the third.
Pittsburgh responded, Evgeni Malkin scored his second goal of the game on the power play at 8:30 of the third period to cut the Flyers lead to 5-3 but it was too late as the Penguins couldn’t get another one past Flyers goaltender Marty Biron.
The Flyers were aggressive at the blueline and frustrated the Penguins skilled forwards all game.
Simone Gagne add an empty net goal in the third period to put the Flyers up 6-3 and secure a game 3 win.
Flyers goaltender Marty Biron made 26 saves on 29 shots to record the win. Biron is now 2-6 in his last 8 playoff starts (all against Pittsburgh).
After a brilliant performance in game 2, Marc Andre Fleury had an off day making 24 saves on 29 shots to take the loss.
Philadelphia outhit Pittsburgh 29-18. In game 2, the Penguins outhit Philadelphia 51-30.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.