Penguins Show Heart, Destroy Flyers 10-3 – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Show Heart, Destroy Flyers 10-3

The objective in any survival situation is to adapt, adjust, and overcome. With their playoff lives on the line the victory-starved Penguins achieved all three of those goals during Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Three days after the Flyers delivered a beat-down that left them teetering on the brink of elimination, the boys from the ‘Burgh responded with a little shock and awe of their own. Despite missing four regulars the Pens splintered the orange and black before a packed house at Wells Fargo Center, thanks to Jordan Staal’s hat trick and a bounce-back two-goal effort from MVP candidate Evgeni Malkin. The game also featured a turnaround performance by Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 22 of 25 shots following a shaky start.

In a wild and woolly affair that harkened back to the days of the Ottawa Silver Seven and the Dawson City Nuggets, Claude Giroux staked the Flyers to an early lead with a power-play goal at 1:26. Two minutes later Malkin tied the score for the Pens. Working a give-and-go with Pascal Dupuis, the rangy Russian drove to the net and popped home a rebound off Ilya Bryzgalov’s pads for his first goal of the series.

The Pens snatched the lead at 8:05, courtesy of a power-play tally by Matt Niskanen. However, the visitors soon got into penalty trouble and the opportunistic Flyers made them pay. Forty-six seconds after Kimmo Timonen beat Fleury through the five-hole, Jakub Voracek cashed in from the right-wing circle on a pretty feed from Wayne Simmonds.

Up 3-2, the quick-striking Flyers were poised to deliver the knockout punch. This time, however, the Penguins showed some moxy. On the ensuing rush Sidney Crosby deflected Niskanen’s heavy blast from the point past Bryzgalov to knot the score at 3-3. Ninety seconds later Staal converted on a slick pass from Philly native Eric Tangradi to send his team to the locker room with a one-goal edge.

The Flyers owned the second period during the regular season, outscoring their opponents by a whopping 98-71 margin. However, the Pens were just getting revved up. Following a pair of big saves by Fleury on Brayden Schenn and Jaromir Jagr, Kris Letang beat Bryzgalov with a sizzling shot to the blocker side to chase the beleaguered goalie.

Backup Sergei Bobrovsky was given the same rude treatment as his countryman. The black and gold shifted into overdrive, pounding four pucks past “Bob” in less than nine minutes, including a pair of goals by Staal and one each from Steve Sullivan and Dupuis. Seething with frustration, Flyers cheap-shot artist Zac Rinaldo brutally cross-checked Zbynek Michalek to mar an otherwise perfect period of hockey for the Steel City sextet.

Malkin dashed any hopes for another miraculous Philly comeback early in third period. Scooping up a made-to-order rebound, No. 71 ripped the puck past Bobrovsky from the left-wing circle to cap a gritty, disciplined effort.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance to get back to Pittsburgh,” Crosby said. “And that’s all we wanted out of this game.”

Ice Chips
Staal, Malkin, and Niskanen were named the three stars … Staal recorded his first playoff hat trick … Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Sullivan enjoyed three-point games … Fourteen Penguins registered points (including Fleury) … The Pens tied their club record for most goals in a playoff game … Pittsburgh outshot Philadelphia (36-25) … The Pens converted on four of nine power plays … Simon Despres, Brian Strait, Tangradi, and Joe Vitale replaced Craig Adams, Arron Asham, James Neal (suspensions) and Paul Martin (injury) … Adams, Asham, Dustin Jeffrey, Ben Lovejoy, Martin and Neal were scratches.

On Deck
The Penguins square off with the Flyers in a must-win Game 5 at CONSOL Energy Center on Friday night. The Pens have overcome 1-3 deficits twice in their history (’92 and ’95 vs. Washington).

*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. Travis Turchak's Gravatar Travis Turchak
    April 19, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Breaking news. The philadelphia flyers have qualified for the 2012 olympic summer games! Their entire roster will be competing in the synchronized diving competition. they are sure to sweep the podium. 🙂 go pens

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 21, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

      I really wasn’t paying much attention to that aspect of the game on Wednesday. Tonight (Game 5) I was … and you’re right. My God, the Flyers are diving all over the place. Brayden Schenn definitely earns the “Greg Louganis Award.”

  2. TANGER58's Gravatar TANGER58
    April 19, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    It was nice to see us play 60 minutes and not play desperate. Fleury made some great saves and it appears the defense has figured out how to stop them from scoring as much. Their power play is still a problem. So fewer penalties taken, would solve that issue. Tangradi and Despres both played solid games. The Flyers are not going to play that undisciplined in game 5. What does Cooke have to do to show he was not fighting? Assume the position and lay flat on the ice with his arms outstretched? Seriously, that was a joke. Other than that, I didn’t mind the officiating. LETS GO PENS!

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 19, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      As always, great comments and observations Tanger58. I thought the Pens showed tremendous discipline, heart, and focus—especially after they were down 3-2. They responded like champs, with Sid leading the way.

      It was especially good to see Fleury have a bounce-back game, wasn’t it? When Philly got their third goal, I really was afraid they might have broken him. But he came back stronger than ever. I was especially pleased with his performance late in the game. You could tell there was no way he was going to allow another goal. (It was nice to see the Flyers looking a little shell-shocked for a change).

      I agree with you on the Cooke incident. I just flipped out when I heard the penalties. I kept yelling at the TV, “What the heck (expletive replaced) did he do?” I know the refs were trying to keep a lid on things, but sheesh!

      Speaking of penalties, I hope the league suspends Rinaldo for his mugging of Michalek. Not only does he blatantly cross-check a defenseless foe (notice he didn’t pick on Engelland) but he skates off the ice with a bad-ass look on his face. What a punk.

      On second thought, I hope he doesn’t get suspended. Maybe he’ll click-out in a crucial situation and hand the Pens a four-minute power play.

      • TANGER58's Gravatar TANGER58
        April 19, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I didn’t yell much about the Cooke thing, because we were creaming them. If we were losing, I might have been more angry. LOL

        I hope that we just step up our game even more in game 5. Keep the defense tightened up and who knows, it could be a 3-2 series. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it at this point?

        I am with you on the 4 minute power play, it they don’t suspend Rinaldo. Love it!


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