Post-Game Wrap: Wide Open Game benefited Philadelphia in the transition game

Post-Game Wrapup
In a statement game, the Philadelphia Flyers (46-20-10, 102 pts) put a dent in the Penguins (45-24-8, 98 pts) Atlantic Division title hopes, defeating Pittsburgh 5-2 on Tuesday night at the Consol Energy Center.
Philadelphia pushed their division lead (game in hand) to four points and improved to 3-0 at Consol Energy Center this season. The Flyers have taken 4 of 6 games from Pittsburgh.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves to improve to 3-1-1 against Pittsburgh this season. He is 3-0 at Consol Energy Center.
Bobrovsky out dueled Marc Andre Fleury who made 19 saves in the loss. Fleury came into tonight’s game, 6-2-0 in his last 8 starts with a 1.68 GAA.
Tonight was a game where the Penguins had all the momentum coming in, riding a four game winning streak but as the game progressed, the style of play {Wide Open} that was developing played right into the Flyers hands.
“Wideopen game…Too much for our liking, ” head coach Dan Bylsma.
Pittsburgh’s 2-1 lead mid-way through the second period, after a first period goal from Alex Kovalev (16) and a second period marker from Tyler Kennedy (19) at 9:21, quickly went away as Scott Hartnell (21) and Claude Giroux (25) scored 47 seconds (13:45, 14:32) apart.
Ville Leino (18, 19) added two third period goals before the 9:00 minute mark, to put the game away for Philadelphia.
The Penguins are a team that likes to play uptempo but not to the extent of trading chances with a dynamic offensive team of the Flyers caliber.
Philadelphia was excellent with their defensive play in the neutral zone in creating Penguin turnovers right in the gray areas.
The Flyers are built through their transition game and unlike last Thursday’s meeting, Philadelphia was able to exploit Pittsburgh in that area tonight.
A few potential turning points in the game:
Mid-way through the second period, jumping out to a 2-1 lead after Tyler Kennedy’s excellent 1-on-1 play, getting by a flat footed Kimmo Timmonen to notch his 19th goal of the season, Pittsburgh for one of the few sequences in the game began to establish the tempo.
The Penguins though were just unable to get that “critical” goal to give them a 3-1 lead.
“We let them off the hook early on, ” Bylsma said. Pittsburgh registered just 13 shots through two periods. The disappointment for the Penguins were not getting enough pucks to the net when Bobrovsky was vulnerable in the first forty minutes.
Bobrovsky though came up big in the third period, stopping all 14 shots in the period.
With Philadelphia leading 3-2 in the third, Bobrovsky made two critical saves early on, most notably a Pascal Dupuis shot off of a Max Talbot rebound less than two minutes into the period and minutes later, Bobrovsky made a big save on Kris Letang who had an open lane down the left side.
Pittsburgh fell to 0-18-4 when trailing after two periods and 0-7 at home against the top-3 teams in the Eastern Conference: Philadelphia (0-3), Washington (0-2), Boston (0-2).
Overall at home, Pittsburgh is 4-11-1 against the top-8 in the East.
| 0-3 vs No. 1. Philadelphia | 0-2 vs No. 2 Washington | 0-2 vs No. 3 Boston | 2-0 vs No. 5 Tampa Bay |
|0-2-1 vs No. 6 New York | 0-2 vs No. 7 Montreal | 2-0 vs No. 8 Buffalo |
The Penguins last regulation win was on March 15th against the Ottawa Senators.
Mark Letestu returned to the lineup after missing the past 5 games due to a shoulder injury. Letestu made his presence felt in the face-off circle, going 12 of 17 (70.6%) on draws. Letestu also collected an assist in 14:12 of ice time….
Alex Kovalev’s first period goal was his first goal at home in a Penguins uniform since February 4, 2003…….
Jordan Staal was 12 of 18 on draws…..
The Penguins were 0-for-4 on the power play. They are now 3 for their last 59…..

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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