Posted April 18, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New Jersey Devils
Los Angeles Kings
Pushed to the brink of a sweep, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal pushed back with a vengeance, helping the Penguins score nine goals in the first two periods in a 10-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday in their opening-round playoff series.
Staal had a hat trick, Malkin scored his first two goals of the series and Crosby added one to help the Penguins cut the series deficit to 3-1. Game 5 is Friday in Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury settled down after a shaky first period and had his best game of the series, easily outplaying counterpart Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Flyers led 3-2 when the Penguins reeled off eight straight goals to win the most lopsided game of the series.
The Penguins were the first team to score at least 10 goals in a playoff game since the Los Angeles Kings scored 12 against the Calgary Flames on April 10, 1990, according to STATS LLC.
Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Jakub Voracek all scored for the Flyers, who blew their chance at a stunning sweep of the 108-point Penguins. Bryzgalov, shaky all series, was at his worst in Game 4. He was yanked for Sergei Bobrovsky after allowing his fifth goal of the game.
There's little chance of a goalie controversy in Philadelphia, though. After earning huge cheers for stopping his first shot, Bobrovsky was worse than Bryzgalov, allowing four goals the rest of the second period.
Fleury made it stand the rest of the way and started to make up for a miserable first three games that saw him allow 17 goals.
Then again, Pittsburgh's offense was so potent, not even Fleury could blow this one.
Long despised in Philadelphia, Crosby scored his second goal of the series on a deflection that tied the game at 3-all in the first. Staal followed with a goal from the slot for a 4-3 lead and the Penguins never looked back.
The Penguins were short-handed in their last-gasp effort at trying to stave off elimination. Forward Arron Asham served the first game of a four-game suspension; and James Neal and Craig Adams served a one-game ban for their actions in Game 3.
Defenseman Paul Martin also sat out with an undisclosed injury.
Trying to stir the pot of an already emotional series, the Flyers showed league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan's video explanations of the Asham and Neal suspensions.
The crowd was fired up. But so were the Penguins.
Kris Letang shot high over Bryzgalov's right shoulder in the opening minutes of the second for his first goal of the series and a 5-3 lead. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette saw enough and yanked his $51 million goalie.
The goals kept coming at a clip more appropriate for an All-Star game. Staal scored his second, Steve Sullivan and Pascal Dupuis each scored, and Staal slid an easy one through Bobrovsky's legs for the hat trick and a stunning five-goal third.
The Penguins scored four power-play goals in Game 4.
After the two teams combined for a whopping 158 penalty minutes in Game 3, the two teams played under control until the game spiraled out of control late in Game 4.
The nastiness in the series spilled off the ice when Crosby said after Game 3 he didn't like any of the Flyers.
The Flyers whipped up orange T-shirts for the game that read, ''Guess What? We Don't Like YOU Either!''
The tabloid Daily News photoshopped Crosby's head on a lion with the headline, ''The Cowardly Penguin: Time to Finish Off Sniveling Sidney.'' One Philadelphia restaurant stuck a sign in its window that read: Crosby: (n). a) a baby penguin. b) slang term for extremely weak.
It was Pittsburgh's captain that got to savor the moment in Philadelphia, though.
For a few minutes in the first, it looked like the Flyers were set to roll toward a four-game sweep. The Flyers scored eight goals in each of the last two games, and scored three on the power play in the first. But the offense dried up and the Penguins took over.
By the time Malkin scored to make it 10-3 in the third, most of the fans had left and the crazed atmosphere from the opening faceoff was a distant memory.
Flyers fans roared when Lauren Hart, the daughter of longtime former Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart, sang ''God Bless America,'' alternating lyrics with Kate Smith, who was on a video image. Smith's rendition of the song has been a rallying anthem for the Flyers since the mid-1970s.
Fans placed roses in the hand of Smith's statue outside the new entertainment complex across from the arena.
They might need a new good-luck charm if the series returns to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Sunday.
Notes: The Flyers are 7-1 in Pittsburgh this season. ... The Flyers have nine power-play goals in the series. ... The Penguins haven't been swept in a series since 1979 vs. Boston.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
'AN ABSOLUTE JOKE'
It's OK for hockey fans to express their hatred toward Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, but when an opposing broadcaster does it in the middle of a game, that's the definition of trouble. In Game 3 of the Penguins-Flyers series on Sunday, Crosby continued to add more fuel to the fire of this already intense rivalry. Philadelphia radio broadcaster Chris Therien called Crosby...
At this particular point in time, the Philadelphia Daily News can pretty much say whatever it wants about the Penguins. Sidney Crosby may not actually be a coward and surprised us all when he got into it with some of the Flyers earlier in the series, but at the moment Philadelphia owns Pittsburgh. Most of us expected the match-up between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the Eastern...
Sunday's violent Flyers-Penguins Stanley Cup playoff game resulted in a lot of vicious reactions from all across the internet, with Penguins fans throwing racist insults towards Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers, Flyers fans complaining about the Penguins being dirty whiners, and the mainstream media freaking out about every Sidney Crosby stereotype coming true in one series.
They’re back on in Pittsburgh tonight for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarters. It is a Friday night so we expect some sort of crazy **** to go down with the Yinzers. Can’t believe there hasn’t been some Pens-Flyers fan ass kickings in this series. YouTube has been firing blanks. Nothing. Step up your game, drunks.
You Pittsburgh hardos going to let Philly drop Brokeback...
I have no idea what’s gotten into the Philadelphia Flyers as they’ve taken a commanding 3-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins by scoring a mind-boggling eight goals in each of their last two wins, but at this point, you’ve got to believe the Flyers have a very realistic chance of bringing home Philly’s first hockey title since way back in 1975 (my God, it’s been that long...
Last night started out much the same as the past three games, penalties, soft goals and a crazy period. The Flyers continue to be strong on the Power Play going 3 for 5. But last night on 8 power plays the Penguins had they scored on 4 of them and gave up no shorthanded goals. But the real difference came in the 5 on 5 play. All of the Flyers’ goals came on Power Plays...
Over the past couple days we've heard a lot of people get really upset about how other fans have "turned on the Pittsburgh Penguins." We've heard Sidney Crosby say that "this is when you lean on your fans the most." We've seen people throw around the "you're not a real fan" card far too often.
We've been attacked for not...
There has been absolutely zero media outlets that you can look at that doesn’t mention Marc-Andre Fleury or the Penguins’ defense as starting points for what’s gone wrong for the Pens this postseason. Cheap shots and shenanigans aside, giving up eight goals in back-to-back games is going to get you nowhere.
But to let Fleury shoulder the blame just because he’s not saving...
The Philadelphia Daily News photoshopped a picture of Sidney Crosby as the Cowardly Lion from the "Wizard of Oz" on Wednesday. We have no idea if that will come back to haunt them. But the thought of the Wizard of Oz inserting itself into this series will get us all to Friday.
In a span of two minutes, this game went from turning...
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers, Defenseman Nick Grossmann missed Thursday’s practice.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said that Grossmann suffered an “upper-body” injury in Game 4 against Pittsburgh. He is officially listed as “day-to-day.”
Grossmann left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head from Evgeni Malkin. NBC 10’s Howard...
Steve Sullivan, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy scored and the Pittsburgh Penguins fended off elimination with a 3-2 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves - including a series of big stops in the third period - to help Pittsburgh cut Philadelphia's lead to 3-2 in the...
That’s the question I ask. And not just once, I ask it twice.
The NHL wants to get rid of headshots in the NHL. And they also use the metric of an injury to determine justice, which if you’ve read me recently, you’d know I’m completely against that.
On Wednesday night, on two different occasions, Nicklas Grossmann of the Philadelphia Flyers was the victim of a hit to...
Here are some stats for you heading into tonight's Game 4 matchup between the Flyers and Penguins (courtesy of Sam Carchidi, @BroadStBull):
-In a total of 90 playoff series since 2006, there have only been 13 sweeps (14%)
-The Flyers are 3-6 all-time in games where they have an opportunity to sweep.
-James Neal and Sidney Crosby lead the Penguins with 5 points a piece in this...
The day we've all been waiting for (well since this past Sunday) is finally here.
Tonight, the Flyers will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Flyers have built a commanding 3-0 series lead on discipline, composure, and, a high scoring offensive attack.
But as every player says... the fourth win is the hardest to get.