FLYERS MOST COMPLETE TEAM IN NHL
What we saw tonight was a Flyers team that dictated the play and the pace, especially in the first and third period where the Flyers outshot the Penguins 12-7 and 14-5, respectively. Overall, Philadelphia outshot Pittsburgh 37-23 in the game.
With the 3-2 win, the Flyers notched their third win in four games against Pittsburgh this season and all three Flyer wins have been one goal games. They are a league-best 8-1-1 in their division and take over the best record in the NHL with 45 points.
The Flyers who are arguably the most complete team in the NHL are starting to find ways to beat the Penguins, where in the past, they were losing these type of games.
A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME FOR MALKIN?
Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup after missing four games and scored two power goals in leading the Penguins offensively. Malkin provided a boost for the Penguins and showed great energy and for the Penguins skate, this is hopefully a sign of things to come for Malkin who notched goals 9 and 10 tonight.
LAVIOLETTE ON TAKING OVER BEST RECORD IN THE NHL
“We talk about trying to be the best in the league, and tonight was one of those opportunities where we could do it ourselves and didn’t have to have help,” Laviolette said. “It puts you where you want to be, but you can enjoy it for about three minutes and move on to start thinking about the next game.”
DAN BYLSMA ON FLYERS DICTATING PLAY
“It doesn’t matter how many you win, losing is not where you want to be,” Bylsma said. “We’re disappointed in the first period in particular. Philadelphia dictated the pace.”
The Penguins were undiscplined at times getting called for 6 penalties but a lot of their penalties came at costly times when they were just gaining momentum.
Malkin’s interference penalty at 9:06 of the third period led to the Flyers game winning goal.
“We got to a point where we draw even, and we spent a lot of energy killing penalties against dangerous guys,” Bylsma said. “It also took our team away from trying to get to the offensive zone and mount any kind of pressure. It took away from us in the third period.”
FLYERS RIDING HOT HAND IN BOUCHER
The Philadelphia Flyers have three goaltenders at their disposal and head coach Peter Laviolette is riding the hot hand in veteran backup Brian Boucher.
Boucher stopped 21 shots and improved to 5-0-1 in his last 6 games. He has stopped 87 of 91 shots in his last 3 games.
CROSBY’s STREAK CONTINUES
Sidney Crosby assisted on both of Evgeni Malkin’s power play goals, extending his point streak to 19 games. Crosby leads the NHL with 53 points and has 20 goals and 18 assists in matching his career-long streak of 19 games from Oct. 6-Nov. 17, 2007.
A look at Crosby’s dominance against Philadelphia. He has has 26 goals and 36 assists in 36 career games against Philadelphia.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Crosby is just the 7th player in NHL history to have multiple 19-game point streaks in their careers. Four of the previous six are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
PRONGER SAYS CROSBY HAS EARNED RESPECT
Chris Pronger had some interesting comments to reporters. When asked if Sidney Crosby has earned respect around the league, Pronger said Crosvy has because the Penguins captain has matured as a player and doesn’t whine like he use to.
*Pittsburgh’s 12 game winning streak was the second longest in franchise history
*Pittsburgh’s road winning streak ended at 7 games. The 7 game road winning streak tied a franchise best.
*Marc Andre Fleury’s 11 game winning streak ended tonight. Fleury is 13-1-1 in his last 15 starts.
*Pittsburgh has given up a power play goal in 6 straight games.
*The Dec. 14 date is the earliest that Philadelphia has reached 20 wins in a season since 1986.
QUICK REBOUND FOR PENS
As the penguiins winning streak ended at 12 games, the Penguins get a quick turnaround in hosting the New York Rangers at home on Wednesday night.
“You never like losing and just because we won however many we won doesn’t change that feeling, and I don’t think it ever will,” Crosby said. “You go out there and you work hard and you have an objective in mind to win a game and you don’t, so no, it’s not a good feeling. Luckily for us we have a game Wednesday night, so we can look to respond.”
The Penguins will not hold a morning skate on Wednesday.