Philadelphia 6 – Pittsburgh 4
PITTSBURGH — The Philadelphia Flyers (46-24-9, 101 pts)
showed once again that they are a scary matchup for the Penguins (48-25-6, 102 pts) in a potential seven game playoff series.
After getting off to a lightning quick start, the Penguins were outworked and dominated in all facets of the game, in a disappointing 6-4 loss to the Flyers on Sunday afternoon at the Consol Energy Center.
With the win, Philadelphia moves just one point behind the Penguins and clinch the season series, taking four of five games so far. The teams close out the regular season in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Flyers are 5-0 all-time at Consol Energy Center and 7-1-1 in their last nine games against the Penguins.
Pittsburgh came out of the gates flying as Steve Sullivan (16) scored a 1:16 into the game, beating Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with a fluttering shot, giving Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. 3:44 later, Pittsburgh struck again, making it 2-0 on James Neal’s 39th goal of the season.
Pittsburgh jumping out to a commanding 2-0 lead, took their foot off the pedal and a turning point was Philadelphia killing off a Daniel Briere interference penalty that ended at 8:58 of the first period, as Philadelphia got some momentum moving forward off that penalty kill.
With Scott Hartnell creating a front-net presence, Claude Grioux (28) cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1, scoring his 28th goal of the season at 15:09 of the first period. From there, Philadelphia took over the game, getting a second period goal from Max Talbot, and the Flyers added four goals in the third, getting goals from Wayne Simmonds (27, Power Play), Jakub Voracek (16, 17) and Marc-Andre Bourdon (3).
Trailing 5-2, Steve Sullivan scored his second goal of the game with 4:42 remaining in the third period. Despite a late flurry from the Penguins, it was too little too late as the Flyers would close out the game, getting an empty net goal from Voracek who had a strong game with two goals and an assist. Voracek was the games No. 1 star.
The Penguins in the final forty minutes of the game, consistently lost battles for loose pucks and the team got a third straight mediocre performance from Marc Andre Fleury who has been out of sync of late.
A scrum ensued late in the game when Joe Vitale delivered a clean hard hit on Daniel Briere at center ice. During the scrum on the ice, Penguins assistant Tony Granato and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette engaged in a shouting match on the benches. Both coaches were ejected from the game.
Pittsburgh was awarded a power play out of the scrum and Chris Kunitz (24) scored a power play goal with 32 seconds remaining in the game. Pittsburgh went 1-for-5 on the power play in the loss.
Pascal Dupuis had two assists, extending his points streak to 14 games…..Defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup after missing the past three games. Letang logged 27:58 of ice time……Claude Giroux had 1 goal and added 2 assists in the victory…..Since being put on a line with Sidney Crosby, Steve Sullivan has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 2 games….Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had 2 assists…..Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is 5-0 all-time at Consol. He made 43 saves in the win
PIT – 1:14 Steve Sullivan (16)
Assists: Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis (PIT 1-0)
PIT – 4:58 James Neal (39)
Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz (PIT 2-0)
PHI – 15:09 Claude Giroux (28)
Assists: Jaromir Jagr, Scott Hartnell (PIT 2-1)
PHI – 1:25 Maxime Talbot (19)
Assists: Zac Rinaldo, Sean Couturier (2-2)
PHI – 2:35 Wayne Simmonds (27) (Power Play)
Assists: Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux (PHI 3-2)
PHI – 6:37 Jakub Voracek (16)
Assists: Eric Wellwood, Braydon Coburn (PHI 4-2)
PHI – 13:15 Marc-Andre Bourdon (3)
Assist: Claude Giroux (PHI 5-2)
PIT – 15:18 Steve Sullivan (17)
Assists: Pascal Dupuis, Zbynek Michalek (PHI 5-3)
PHI – 18:45 Jakub Voracek (17, Empty Net)
Assists: Matt Carle, Maxime Talbot (PHI 6-3)
PIT – 19:28 – Chris Kunitz (24, Power Play)
Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby (PHI 6-4)