Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/18/13
The Wells Fargo Center crowd remains among the most hostile in the NHL and the team based there can be ill-humored much of the time too. Doesn't appear to bother the Penguins much though. Fact is they seem to love coming to the far side of the Commonwealth and with good reason: After their 4-1 victory Thursday night against Philadelphia the Penguins are 11-2-1 in their past 14 regular-season visits to this city. The same town where they once went 15 years and 42 games without a victory (0-39-3) a slump left winger Chris Kunitz characterized simply as "pretty amazing." The details of that decade-and-a-half of futility are pretty much a part of hockey's fossil record by now though. The current generation of Penguins is much more accustomed to elevating their performance -- and leaving town with two points -- when they venture across the state. "Every time we come it's always a pretty tense game pretty tough" goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "I think it brings out the best in us." It certainly did that Thursday night for Fleury. He stopped 24 of 25 shots to raise his record to 6-0 and came up with a couple of quality stops when a Flyers goal could have altered the course of the game. Like when he denied Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn from just above the hash marks at 10:45 of the second period while the Penguins were protecting a 1-0 lead. And when he robbed Wayne Simmonds from the right side of the crease on a power play at 1:21 of the third after Philadelphia had sliced the Penguins' advantage to 2-1 with a man-advantage goal with just two seconds left in the second period. "He's been our best player almost every single game" Kunitz said. "He's made key saves at big moments and that's what we look to him to do." Fleury though isn't the only Penguin who has gotten a pretty good start in 2013-14. The Flyers nearly became the first team to hold Penguins center Sidney Crosby the NHL's leading scorer without a point this season but he scored an insurance goal at 17:28 of the third period and picked up an assist on Evgeni Malkin's empty-netter with 12.3 seconds to go in regulation.
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