The Pittsburgh Penguins have awaken and erupted for 10 goals, en route to a 10-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, forcing a Game 5 back in Pittsburgh Friday night.
The Penguins offensive explosion was highlighted by a 4 of 9 night on the power play, and Jordan Staal collected his first career playoff hat trick. Staal was huge in the win with a three point night and winning 15 of 22 draws. Staal who leads the team in playoff goals, has 5 goals in his last two games.
14 Penguin recorded points while Evgeni Malkin had a 2 goal night, Sidney Crosby had a goal and 2 assists and Kris Letang had an assist and even Marc Andre Fleury added an assist as the Penguins big guns shined to avoid elimination.
The Penguins score 8 unanswered goals and scored 10 goals in a playoff game for the first time in franchise history since the Penguins did it on April 25, 1989 against the Philadelphia Flyers in Mario Lemieux’s memorable playoff game where he had an 8 point night and Ron Hextall chased Robby Brown around the rink. The Flyers would end up winning the series in seven games.
The Penguins fell behind 3-2 late in the first period but Pittsburgh turned to the power play to pull away from Philadelphia in the second period, scoring three second period goals on the man advantage, getting power play markers in the period from Kris Letang, Jordan Staal, and Steve Sullivan. Matt Niskanen added a power play goal in the first period.
The Penguins dominated play in the final forty minutes of the game, winning nearly every loose puck and were excellent on the forecheck and hitting the late man on the rush.
Pittsburgh chased Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov from the net in the second period after Bryzgalov gave up 5 goals on 13 shots. Sergei Bobrovsky was not much better, giving up 5 goals on 13 shots. Marc Andre Fleury made 22 saves to record his first win of the playoffs.
Aside from Zach Rinaldo’s cheap shot on Zbynek Michalek late in the second period, the game lacked the dirty play we saw in Game 3 but the two teams combined for 100 penalty minutes, led by the Flyers who had 64 penalty minutes as the refs called the game tight from the drop of the puck and unlike the Penguins, Philadelphia never adjusted to how the game was being called.
14 Penguins collected points
Jordan Staal 3 goals – – 0 assists – 3 points
Evgeni Malkin 2 goals – 1 assist – 3 points
Sidney Crosby 1 goal – 2 assists – 3 points
Steve Sullivan 1 goal – 2 assists – 3 points
Matt Niskanen 1 goal – 1 assist – 2 points
Pascal Dupuis 1 goal – 1 assist – 2 points
Matt Cooke 0 goals – 2 assists – 2 points
Chris Kunitz 0 goals – 2 assists – 2 points
Tyler Kennedy 0 goals – 2 assists – 2 points
Kris Letang 0 goals – 1 assist – 1 point
Eric Tangradi 0 goals – 1 assist – 1 point
Deryk Engelland 0 goals – 1 assist – 1 point
Richard Park 0 goals – 1 assist – 1 point
Marc Andre Fleury 1 assist