Flyers Outclass Penguins 8-4 – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Flyers Outclass Penguins 8-4

Prior to the “Battle of Pennsylvania,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell boldly proclaimed, “It’s going to be a bloodbath.” The Philly villain’s prediction came true—in spades—on Sunday afternoon during a raucous Game 3 at the Wells Fargo Center. In an ugly affair that featured 158 penalty minutes and battles galore, the Flyers outclassed the Pens 8-4 to gain a three-games-to-none stranglehold on the series.

While Philly shredded the Pens’ special teams (four power-play goals and a shorthander) the black and gold turned in a disgracefully undisciplined effort littered with enough turnovers, costly penalties, and shoddy goaltending to give coach Dan Bylsma and his staff nightmares all summer long.

The atmosphere was super-charged from the opening faceoff as the boorish Flyers faithful serenaded Pens captain Sidney Crosby with their favorite chorus. Jordan Staal silenced the overflow throng—briefly—at 3:52 when he handcuffed Ilya Bryzgalov with a crackling wrist shot from the right-wing circle to stake the Pens to an early lead.

It turned out to be the highpoint of the afternoon for the locals. Minutes later Marc-Andre Fleury handed the lead right back when he knocked Max Talbot’s shorthanded chip into his own net. With “Flower” struggling to regain his composure, Daniel Briere struck twice for the Flyers within a span of four minutes.

Trailing 3-1, the Pens had a complete meltdown. While Crosby tangled with Philly superstar Claude Giroux, Kris Letang engaged Kimmo Timonen to earn an early trip to the shower. Mayhem erupted again at the 14-minute mark when Arron Asham cross-checked Brayden Schenn up high following a hard, but clean check on teammate Paul Martin. “Ash” drew a match penalty for his brazen attempt at frontier justice.

Remarkably, the reeling Penguins rebounded to make the score 3-2. After taking an outlet pass from Matt Niskanen, James Neal sidestepped two Philly defenders and ripped the puck past Bryzgalov at 15:17.

As they have done throughout the series, the Flyers immediately countered. On the ensuing rush rookie Matt Read outworked Deryk Engelland down low and beat Fleury from the slot. The Pens clawed back midway through the second period when Neal rifled the puck home on the power play for his second goal of the game.

Inexplicably, Chris Kunitz elected to trip Eric Wellwood (the first of his two horrendous penalties) to hand Philly a power play. Read teed up a pretty cross-ice feed from Jaromir Jagr and blew the puck past Fleury from the off-wing. The Pens closed the gap to 5-4 at 15:40, thanks to Staal’s tally from the doorstep. But Kunitz was whistled off for slashing minutes later—setting the table for a nifty forehand-to-backhand breakaway tally by Wayne Simmonds 46 seconds before the horn.

In desperation, Bylsma yanked Fleury in favor of Brent Johnson to start the third period. Jagr greeted “Johnny” with a play reminiscent of an overtime-winner he scored as a Penguin some 21 years before. Controlling the puck with one hand on his stick, the Czech legend wheeled around Pascal Dupuis and fed Giroux in the slot. The redhead whipped the puck past Johnson to cap his “Gordie Howe hat trick.”

Aside from a late-period fracas featuring Craig Adams and Hartnell in the main event, it was game over. Following a fresh batch of penalties Talbot notched his second goal of the game to stick a dagger in his former team’s heart.

Ice Chips
Neal paced the Pens with three points (two goals and an assist) … Staal (plus-1) scored two goals … Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin recorded two assists apiece … Dupuis failed to register a point for the first time since March 5 … Engelland and Letang received game misconducts … Pittsburgh outshot Philadelphia (35-34) … Niskanen and Richard Park replaced Ben Lovejoy and Joe Vitale … Dustin Jeffrey, Lovejoy, Brian Strait, Eric Tangradi, and Vitale were scratches.

On Deck
The Pens take on the Flyers in a do-or-die Game 4 at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. Only three teams in NHL history (’42 Maple Leafs; 75’ Islanders; and ’10 Flyers) have overcome an 0-3 deficit to win a series.

*Be sure to check out Rick’s new book, “100 Things Penguins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” at TriumphBooks.com. It features 296 pages of bios, stories, anecdotes and photos from the team’s colorful past in a compelling, easy-to-read style. Whether you’re a die-hard booster from the days of Jean Pronovost or a big fan of Sid and Geno, this book is a must have for any true Penguins fan.

Don’t forget to check out Rick’s first book, “Total Penguins,” at TriumphBooks.com. A complete and comprehensive book on the team’s rich and storied history, it’s filled with season-by-season summaries, player profiles and stats, bios on coaches, general managers and owners, photos from the “Post-Gazette” archives, and much, much more.

*Be sure to check out Rick Buker’s books,
available at TriumphBooks.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com

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  1. Annika Lynn Gally age 10's Gravatar Annika Lynn Gally age 10
    April 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    The Pittsburg penguins are a bunch of

  2. Annika Lynn Gally age 10's Gravatar Annika Lynn Gally age 10
    April 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Crosby is such a baby and a goon. His coach sends all of his goons out to hurt the team who’s winning. What is wrong with you people who like Pittsburgh? The referees have to “protect” the best players in the league and he’s one of them. I don’t know what atrocious means.

  3. Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
    April 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hey folks. Great comments all. Rather than respond individually, I posted a new article, “Penguins Get an ‘A’ for Atrocious” that kind of sums up my feelings.

  4. TARA H's Gravatar TARA H
    April 16, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Where is the world is the Pittsburgh Penguins defense?


  5. TANGER58's Gravatar TANGER58
    April 16, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I like your use of the word “Outclassed”. Who would ever have thunk, the Flyers would “Outclass” us? I was so disgusted I quit watching.

    The comments from Ray below make no sense. We have a huge fan base. However, he is just another clueless Flyers fan.

    I have to give it to the Flyers, they have played hard every game. We have not. Crosby saying they didn’t fight out of frustration is just plain ridiculuous. There is no way the Flyers are going to give up a 3-0 lead in the series.

    The Stanley Cup favorites, possibly being swept is unbelievable.

    I think the Pens have given up, even before they have lost the series.

    I even feel like I am wasting a “Lets Go Pens”, because I am giving more effort in typing this, than they have in playing.


  6. Ray's Gravatar Ray
    April 16, 2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Le-Le-Le-Let’s go Flyers!!!!! You take Asham we’ll take jags and Talb, guess which two of those three will be playing Wednesday? You guys were an emberassment to pro sports, you can’t beat us so you start cheap shottting everyone you can grab. I can see why this team had no fan base and almost moved before Crosby came along and started wussing his way to victories

    • SUZIEG's Gravatar SUZIEG
      April 16, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      You could be right, the Pens fans may be emberassed. It could of been an emberassment. However, I am not sure what that word means.

  7. PJ's Gravatar PJ
    April 16, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    In my 40 plus years of following this hockey team I have been disgusted, dissapointed,frustrated, even saddenned to the point of tears. I can honestly say that I have never been embarrassed until today.This has nothing to do with winning or losing the game.I did not think this team ,under this leadership ,was capable of resorting to the tactics that the Penguins resorted to today. I always considered this 1st class franchise to be above this type of behavior. I can now only hope it was an aberration.

  8. April 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    If you read the rule book, you are not allowed to skate across the ice like Schenn did and check a player who is engaged with another player. You could kill someone that way. Unfortunately the idiots announcing the game are unaware of the rule so all of the lemmings listening think Schenn’s hit was clean. Thankfully Asham knows the rules and took schenn out. The ref’s did not have their hands up and were not going to give Schenn a penalty until Asham decked him.

    • Ray's Gravatar Ray
      April 16, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

      Take a look at the rule book and tell me what it says about slamming someones face into the ice while laying on his back, keeping in mind he’s 19 and the puck is no where around the play. Talk about killing someone? Come on man.

      • April 16, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Schenn took a run at Martin. He tried to eliminate another Penguins defenseman knowing Letang was already out of the game for completely destroying Timmonen. If age is relevant in any matters on the ice at any point in any hockey game then the person should not be on the ice.

  9. April 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink


    Excellent analysis as always. 2 things: 1. Forget coming back from a 3-0 defecit, when was the last time the Pens were swept in a playoff series(Or has it never happened in a best 4 of 7?)

    2. If the Flyers had pulled any of the shenanigans today that the Penguins pulled, I have a feeling Penguins’ fans would be calling for their heads, screaming for us to call up McIntyre for Game 4 and then chastising the league for allowing this goonish type behavior to go on in the modern day NHL.


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