Key Factors from the Penguins 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers
1. Tristan Jarry’s 40 Save Performance
— Jarry was outstanding with a 40 save effort in the win. There was no bigger factor than the Penguins earning the two points. Where Jarry won this game for Pittsburgh was in the first period. The Penguins had an egregious start to the game. Two minor penalties in the first 3:57 of game, they survived both early penalties, but it was all Flyers in period one. Pittsburgh had zero rhythm in the first 20 minutes and were outshot 14-5 in the first frame. If Jarry was off his game just a little, Pittsburgh could have been ran out of the building before the second period as the game had a real chance of getting away from them. Jarry stood tall in every facet of the night.
2. Kasperi Kapanen’s Game Breaking Performance
The Flyers strong play in the first period carried over into the second immediately when Joel Farabee scored a gorgeous tic-tac-toe goal off a Teddy Blueger neutral zone turnover and Mike Matheson taking himself out of the play in defending the counterattack. Now it finally looked like the Flyers were moments away from opening the flood gates. Albeit just a 1-0 lead, they were in complete control of the game until Kasperi Kapanen happened as Shayne Gostisbehere handed Kapanen a breakaway, who turned defense into offense for the momentum changing goal. The goal completely turned the game and what played out the rest of the way is Pittsburgh just wanted it more. Instead of the flood gates opening for the Flyers, the flood gates opened for the Penguins in period two. The Flyers had a heavy shot advantage and were at 60% in possession on the night 5 vs 5, but that Kapanen goal just saw one team pack it in and the other just become relentless. Kapanen would then score a power play marker 5:02 after his breakaway marker and Kapanen came so close to netting his first career hat trick later in the period. The Penguins in scoring three goals in a 7:06 span, just put a stranglehold on the game. Even after the Flyers got it to 3-2 at the 11:00 mark of the third, the game just never seemed to be in question for the Penguins after they took charge in the second period and with the way Tristan Jarry was playing. Now another test comes for the Penguins Thursday night on whether they actually take some steps forward and build on from one game to another……..
3. 5-for-5 Night for the Penalty Kill
— A big winner of the night was the bounce back for the penalty kill unit as a whole. Last night the unit was 5-for-5, had the two big penalty kills early in the game. The unit went back to Vellucci’s staple of being an aggressive unit up top and the rotation was much better in defending the net front. They didn’t give the Flyers a lot of day light in the high danger areas, where the unit has been getting crushed all season.
4. Geno better wing talk
— Evgeni Malkin had upgraded wingers in Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust that saw Malkin’s level of play being better in the Penguins 5-2 win. Malkin was far down the list of being major reasons for the Penguins convincing win, but there was a clear difference in how much more noticeable he was when you had others able to carry a line like Guentzel and Rust can do at certain points in a game.
There’s no denying Malkin is at the stage in his career where he needs better wingers to elevate his level of play, compared to Sidney Crosby, but Malkin is no Sidney Crosby. You don’t take away wingers from your best player to try to help someone else. It rarely plays out that way and hard to see that happening even if the Guentzel-Malkin-Rust line goes on a tear in Crosby’s absence.
5. Will claiming Dominik Simon be a discussion internally?Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"