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Insider Only Penguins Advance: On Jake Guentzel Sinking the Flyers, Pittsburgh’s 3rd Pairing Woes, Crosby – Giroux

Game 6 Analysis

Nine Straight Playoff Series Wins, three more to go for a Penguins Three-Peat to be complete.

Jake Guentzel scored 4 goals and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Philadelphia Flyers 8-5 on Sunday afternoon to advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

The Penguins in ousting the Flyers in six games, scored six unanswered goals to close out the game after being on the ropes and trailing 4-2 in the second period.

How special was Guentzel’s big-time performance?

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— While Jake Guentzel produced a five point game in a winning effort, Sean Couturier became just the second player in NHL history to record five points in a playoff game and have his team lose.

Couturier playing with a torn MCL had a hat trick and two assists.

Couturier was sensational in the series, especially considering the circumstances of his injury, finishing with 5 goals and 4 assists in 9 games.


Sidney Crosby in the series: 6 Goals, 7 Assists, +7 > Claude Giroux in the Series: 1 Goal, 2 Assists, -10 Rating

Although the Penguins were still head and shoulders above the Flyers entering this series when it came to multiple matchups, it still felt like it was going to be a six game series because of the Penguins inconsistent play throughout the regular season.

The series indeed ended in six games but the Penguins were always in control of the series, even when Pittsburgh trailed 4-2 and were on the ropes a bit in Game 6.

This was a successful season for the Flyers punctuated by taking the Penguins to six games but they just weren’t going to beat Pittsburgh four out of seven times with that goaltending and defense. That was clear from the start.

With how poorly Giroux played, though, going to six games even seems like a bigger success for the Flyers.


Kris Letang’s game continues to be quite maddening. His play all season has been at a No. 2-No.3 level defenseman and that continued in this series where the mental mistakes continue to plague him.

The Penguins bigger problem, though, moving forward in Round 2 is the third pairing.

Chad Ruhwedel is just being overmatched, especially in road games where the Flyers were effective in Game 6 of getting their top lines up against the Oleksiak-Ruhwedel pairing. Ruhwedel looked everything of a No. 7 type defenseman this series.

Olli Maatta had to give the coaching staff confidence this series where if needed next round, you start playing the hell out of the top-2 pairings and limit the third pairing as much as you can.


Riley Sheahan had a very underrated series in doing the little things extremely well, especially in Game 6 on the penalty kill. That 4-on-3 kill in the second period was a major turning point.

Enough can’t be said of Patric Hornqvist. Minus the egregious turnover on the Sean Couturier breakaway goal, he had a significant impact in the comeback. A goal, 2 assists, just his ability to win puck battles along the wall was something else. Hornqvist finished with 2 goals and 4 assists in four playoff games.


— Pittsburgh closed out the series without Evgeni Malkin who has a Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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