You are reading live from a fantastic day in Pittsburgh. Upper 40s and a not a single cloud in the sky. It's one of those days where you're feeling good in the sun but pretty chilly in the shade.
-Looking down the Boulevard of the Allies:
-Fifth Avenue Place:
-The Original Oyster House:
-National Record Mart!?!? We think we bought a Hootie and the Blowfish CD in one of those back in the 1990s:
-The Warner Centre:
-The clock on the old Kaufman's Building:
-Shadows on a building we can't identify:
-Looking up at Mellon's evil corporate lair:
-A few Mike Richards and Keith Primeau fans having complete disregard for our parking (and probably puppy-drowning) laws:
-Someone loves hockey:
-The U.S. Steel Building. No word on who they sold the advertising rights at the top to:
-This gentleman apparently shared Ray Shero's optimism when he purchased this jersey:
-The arena again:
-A sweet Reggie Leach jersey:
-A not so sweet Robert Esche jersey:
(Why not just wear a bullseye?)
-Consol Energy Center:
-The Bud One/Verizon/HIghmark/UPMC/Wheeling Island/Delta Dental/Dick's Sporting Good airship getting a refill:
-The Flyers preforming some sort of pregame puppy-drowning seance involving a soccer ball:
-Some jerseys we've spotted. Jeff Carter Creamsicle Flyers:
-This might be the hardest work anyone in a Miroslav Satan jersey, including Satan himself, has done along the wall all season:
-A trio of Original Six jersey fouls. First, a Patrick Kane Blackhawks jersey:
-Zdeno Chara Bruins (Unless you count Bruins-Flyers a rivalry):
-And while this is sweet, this Borje Salming Maple Leafs jersey is also a jersey foul:
-John LeClair Flyers:
-Here's two all-timers. Syl Apps, Jr.:
-A Sidney Crosby fan admires the Cotton Candy Guy:
-The PIHL has its trophies on display near the West Igloo Club:
-Fans storming the gates:
-Time to bust out the NBC signs:
-It just got blue in here:
-The Penguins' scratches are Craig Adams and Philippe Boucher.
-The Flyers will scratch Danny Syvret.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Biron are the starting goaltenders.
-Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire attempt to see who can be the most obnoxious:
-A man who is the exact opposite of obnoxious, Jeff Jimerson:
19:11: Petr Sykora steals a puck just outside the Flyers blue line, moves down the left wing and cranks a slapper from the right faceoff circle. BIron makes the save. Braydon Coburn gives Sykora a slight shove in the slot and we're off to a chippy start already.
18:29: Chris Kunitz zips a wrister from a tough angle on the right wing. BIron fights it off.
18:31: Bill Guerin drops a Flyers player with a check along the boards.
17:46: Evgeni Malkin circles in the corner and fires a pass to Sykora in the right faceoff circle. He has an easy shot but can't get his stick on the puck.
17:09: Biron denies Tyler Kennedy and Maxime Talbot in tight.
16:43: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
15:20: Kunitz jabs Andrew Alberts in the corner with a check and that livens what has been a fairly quiet crowd so far.
14:52: On a delayed penalty, Briere rips a wrister high of the cage.
14:49: Guerin is sent off for holding Alberts. Pascal Dupuis, Talbot, Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi are on for the kill.
14:41: That didn't take long. SImon Gagne simply grabs a loose puck in the slot and rips it by Fleury. Not a great job by any of the Penguins there. Mike Knuble and Claude Giroux get assists. We blame the blue jerseys and Ryan Whitney. Flyers 1-0.
12:30: Randy Jones touches up a puck and the Penguins are called for icing.
11:37: Matt Cooke throws a puck off the boards behind the net. It takes a funny hop into the crease. Talbot's there but can't really get control of the puck.
11:12: Fleury stops a shot from the right point but gives up a juicy rebound. Fortunately for the Penguins, Arron Asham is the one there for the rebound and he proceeds to plunk the seemingly easy goal off the backboards.
10:15: Sidney Crosby and Jeff Carter have a collision behind the Flyers' net that no one seems to win.
9:26: Scott Hartnell coasts up the right wing, winds up and fires a slapper. It knocks Brooks Orpik's stick out of his hands and is re-directed on net. Fleury fights it off.
8:55: Malkin rips a wrister from the right wing. It gets deflected wide.
8:29: Pascal Dupuis blasts a slapper from the right wing. BIron kicks it out and covers the rebound after a bit of scrum.
7:41: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
6:54: Giroux tries to line up Malkin along the boards but he ends up on his wallet. He does manage to take the puck off Malkin however.
5:47: Birere dishes a little feed to Carter in the crease. Instead of trying to shoot the puck, Carter thinks the better strategy might be to tackle Fleury. He does a pretty good job if it as he knocks the Penguins' netminder over. The officials are so impressed with it they give Carter two minutes for goaltender interference. Crosby, Malkin, Gonchar, Letang and Kunitz are on for the power play.
5:38: From the neutral zone, Gagne zips a wrister on the Penguis' net. Fleury pushes it aside.
4:45: Gonchar shoots a fairly soft one-timer on net from the top of the slot. Biron hangs on despite having Kunitz digging for a rebound.
4:13: Malkin dishes a feed to Letang who creeps into the slot. Letang rips a wrister but Darroll Powe makes a marvelous play by diving and deflecting the shot.
3:41: As Carter's penalty expires, Biron fights off a bullet of a one-timer by Letang from the left point.
2:44: Scuderi makes a nice play and rubs Hartnell off the puck.
2:37: Cooke gets knocked over by Jones along the boards. GIll comes over and gives Jones a shove. Somehow Cooke gets two minutes for interference. Oookay. Dupuis, Talbot, Gill and Orpik are on for the kill.
1:48: Talbot throws a wrister on net from the slot. Biron fights it off.
1:09: From a tough angle, Staal rips a wrister wide.
0:36: Cooke's penalty is killed. The Penguins didn't really allow the Flyers to set up too much there.
0:15: Fleury covers a puck played into the crease. Hartnell dumps Letang into the boards after the whistle. Two seperate scrums break out. One to the side of the cage and one in front of it. Cooke and Powe exchange punches. Joffrey Lupul ends up with a roughing minor. Crosby, Malkin, Gonchar, Letang and Kunitz are on for the power play. Tough time to take a penalty.
0:00: End of period. Flyers 1, Penguins 0.
-Other than the weak play by the Penguins on the Flyers' goal, that was a fairly even period. Each team had some chances, played physical and generally didn't make too many mistakes.
-BIron's been sharp so far.
-The Penguins have a 10-5 lead in shots.
-Letang and Talbot lead the game with two shots each.
-The Flyers have an 8-6 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Carter is 4-for-5 (80 percent).
-Staal is 2-for-3 (67 percent).
-Gonchar has already logged an impressive 9:30 of ice time. That's tops in the game so far.
-Coburn leads the Flyers with 8:20.
-Mark Eaton has found a way to block three shots already.
-Ryan Parent leads the Flyers with two.
-EN reader Kelli Zappas sends this jersey foul along to us on behalf of friend Aaron Reiber:
-Our faith in humanity is restored as some folks can be heard booing Mikey and Big Bob from Variety 96 or whatever genre that station is this month.
-The Penguins will have 1:44 of power-play time on fresh ice to start the period.
-Crosby, Malkin, Gonchar, Letang and Kunitz are on for the power play.
19:15: Alberts golfs a puck down ice killing some time.
18:55: Letang blasts a slapper from the left point. Biron snags it with his glove. Kunitz and Coburn exchange shoves.
18:23: Crosby moves a cross-ice pass to Letang who fires a one-timer wide of the net from the left point.
18:15: The Flyers kill off Lupul's penalty. Not a lot for the Penguins to brag about there.
17:44: Richards hammers Talbot into the boards with a hit from the side.
17:34: RIchards comesup the right wing and gets tripped up by Gill. Fans boo but it's the right call. Richards may have exaggerated things a bit though. Staal, Cooke, Oprik and Eaton are on for the kill.
17:06: Special teams are killing the Penguins. Briere coasts up the right wing and dishes a pass to Carter in the slot. Carter then throws the puck on net. It gets through Fleury and Eaton and hits off Hartnell and goes into the net. Officials rule a goal but review the play. After a delay, officials rule that Hartnell did not kick the puck in. It's a goal. Carter and Hartnell get assists. Eaton needed to keep track of Hartnell there. What's up with the Penguins' penalty kill? We know the Flyers are pretty good on the power play, but the Penguins have been awful killing penalties so far. Flyers 2-0.
16:43: Kennedy gets denied from the left wing by BIron. Big save there.
16:37: Kennedy trips up Daniel Carcillo in the corner. That's two minutes. Buuuut... Carcillo gets gets two minutes for diving. Four-on-four.
16:32: Letang gets a shot on net off a faceoff. Biron makes the save but gives up a rebound. Crosby there for the puck but gets denied on an amazing save by a prone Biron.
16:20: Eaton gets a quick shot on net. Biron says no
16:12: Jones punches Crosby to the ice. No call.
15:37: Fleury denies Timonen in the slot on a really nice opportunity.
15:29: Malkin and Staal come up on a two-on-one. Malkin gives it to Staal who can't get a shot on net. Argh.
14:37: Carcillo and Kennedy come back on the ice.
13:36: Malkin throws a shot on net. Biron snags it. Talbot gets shoved by a few Flyers after the fact. Attendance is announced as 17,132. It's the team's 103rd consecutive sellout. Van Halen's "Right Now" is busted out really early:
13:09: Crosby snaps a wrister off from the slot. Biron makes the save. Guerin is there for the rebound but can't really get a clean shot off. The puck does get behind Biron but a teammate is there to keep it out of the net.
12:38: Fleury has trouble playing a puck on net cleanly. Richards zooms in and swats at it. Fortunately for the Penguins, it goes wide.
11:45: Fleury denies the Flyers in tight. The Penguins are called for too many men on the ice. Kennedy will serve the penalty. Staal, Orpik, Cook and Gonchar are on for the kill.
11:21: Orpik tosses a puck down ice killing some time.
11:02: Orpik blasts a puck around the boards and allows his team to change players.
10:23: Eaton makes a nice block on a one-timer by Giroux on the left wing.
9:34: Crosby lugs the puck up the slot killing off the rest of the Penguins' penalty. He challenges Matt Carle one-on-one. Carle hooks him. That's two minutes. A goal would be huge for the Penguins here. Letang, Gonchar, Kunitz, Crosby and Malkin are on for the power play.
9:17: Crosby zips up the left wing and leaves a poor drop pass for Malkin. A Flyers player jumps on it and clears it down ice.
8:51: Letang dumps a puck around the boards. It takes a funny bounce off the glass right into the slot. It comes right to Mike Richards who whips it down ice. Ugh. Things are just going that way against the Penguins today.
7:54: Malkin forces a bad pass into the slot where a Flyers player is able to break it up and get it out of the zone.
7:33: Carle's penalty is killed. That was a really weak effort by the Penguins.
7:15: Orpik slides a pass to Eaton at the right point. Eaton fires a one-timer. Biron eats it up.
5:30: Staal gets tripped up at the Flyers blue line away from the puck. He might've taken a bit of a dive there. Either way, some penalty should've been called there.
4:42: Another Penguins penalty. Staal is sent off for high sticking Richards. Talbot, Gill, Dupuis and Scuderi. The Penguins need to keep putting this team on the power play. Especially when they can't do anything with a man advantage.
4:03: Dupuis backhands a puck down ice killing some time.
3:14: Fleury traps a slapper by Knuble from the right wing against his chest. Knuble could've made a wiser choice there by hanging on to the puck and trying to work it around. GIll was without a stick on that play.
2:30: Staal's penalty is killed. He has the puck on the right wing and throws a feed into the slot. Talbot is there and re-directs it on net. Biron squeezes the pads and hangs on for a nice save.
1:46: Fedotenko has a small collision with linesman Brad Kovachik at the Penguins' blue line. That prompt some cheering.
0:28: Staal enters the zone with speed but play is blown dead as Kennedy is offsides. The Penguins have just been really sloppy in all aspects of their game today.
0:14: Kennedy steals a puck, moves into the offensive zone with speed an cranks a slapper from the right wing. TImonen deflects it out of play with his speed.
0:00: End of period. Flyers 2, Penguins 0.
-The period ends with a scrum along the boards. Crosby is right in the middle of it. Joffrey Lupul must've done something bad as he got Gonchar to foolishly throw punches at him. Really stupid move by Gonchar. he gets a double minor for roughing. Wow. That was really stupid. Especially for a veteran like Gonchar. Four minutes of power-play time on fresh ice for the Flyers? Geez.
-Just a really sloppy period for the Penguins. They're power play continues to just be an issue. No one can seem to connect on any passes. Rushes into the zone are nullifed with offsides calls. The Penguins are just off today.
-Malkin is not in MVP form today. His play has really lacked.
-That said, Biron is pretty sharp today. He's faced a pretty fair amount of rubber and has not really seemed to have any issues.
-The Penguins actually do have a 21-10 lead in shots.
-Talbot leads the game with four shots.
-Giroux leads the Flyers with two.
-The Penguins have a 20-15 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Staal is 6-for-8 (75 percent).
-Giroux is 3-for-5 (60 percent).
-Gonchar leads the game with 18:47 of ice time.
-Coburn tops the Flyers with 17:15.
-Eaton and Scuderi lead the game with four blocked shots each.
-Richards and Timonen lead the Flyers with three each.
-Best message sent to the video board:
"I had to set my alarm clock for this game :("
-Best sign hanging from the North F Balcony:
"The Flyers are like the Titantic. The both look good until they hit the ice!"
-The Penguins must kill off this four minutes if they have any hope of coming back. But that's easier said than done.
-Kelli spotted another jersey foul:
-Admiral James Stockdale not impressed.
-GIll, Cooke, Staal and Scuderi have the tall task of starting his period trying to kill Gonchar's penalties.
18:49: Carter smacks a loose puck on net. Fleury punches it out. Carter fights off Eaton and swats the rebound back at Fleury who makes a glove save.
18:25: After Talbot fails to get a backhander out of the zone, Carter rips a wrister which Fleury kicks out with a "thud."
18:05: Eaton blocks a shot by Lupul out of play.
17:46: Gagne hammers a slapper wide from the right point. Scuderi backhands the rebound down ice.
17:19: Eaton snaps a loose puck down ice.
17:05: Briere rips a wrister from the right wing. Fleury eats it up.
16:55: Carter snaps a wrister from the left wing through traffice and wide of the net. It hits off the corner boards and clears the zone on its own.
16:19: Dupuis chips a puck down ice.
16:07: Eaton comes in deep and punches a loose puck at the net. A Flyers player is there to block the shot
16:00: Wow. The Penguins kill off Gonchar's penalties and didn't really allow the Flyers to many quality chances. Huge momentum gain for them.
14:48: Malkin has a puck stolen off him by Carcillo. The former Penguins prospect circles around into the slot and tries to shoot. Malkin and Orpik are able to prevent a shot however.
14:25: Carter is denied in tight by Fleury.
13:24: Gill kneels down and intercepts a feed to Gagne in the slot.
12:31: Talbot gets a little payback on Richards as he drops the Flyers captain with a check in the neutral zone.
12:05: During a stoppage, we get a song foul. Pennywise's "Bro Hymn," which the Flyers use as their goal song, is played:
-Things just aren't going right for the Penguins today.
11:45: On a delayed penalty, Crosby swats a loose puck wide. Briere is sent off for not being tall enough to ride the Thunderbolt. Or something. Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Letang and Gonchar are on for the power play. A goal is a must here for the Penguins.
10:53: A shot by Knuble is blocked out of play.
10:17: Geez. Just terrible. Letang has a wide open shot from the point. He fakes the slapper and forces a pass. Carter intercepts it and clears it down ice. SHOOOOOOT!
9:58: Fin-A-Leee. Letang makes up for his mistake. Crosby outworks Timonen along the boards for the puck. He moves into towards the net , makes a slight move by Coburn and dishes a feed to Letang who gets behind Richards in the slot. He takes the pass and punches it behind Biron. Crosby and Malkin get assists. They "Hey Song" is dusted off. Everyone wins a clogged artery Big Mac. Flyers 2-1.
9:28: Fleury denies a shot by Gagne on the right wing. He poke checks the rebound out of danger.
9:11: Biron kicks out a shot by Kennedy from the right wing.
8:38: Coburn trips up Dupuis in the slot. No call.
7:55: Albert fires a shot from the left point. Fleury says no.
7:33: From the right wing, Sykora sneaks a wrister though traffic and on to the net. BIron snags it.
7:10: A shot by Malkin on the left wing is deflected out of play.
6:56: Somehow, Scott Hartnell allows Hal Gill to outrace him to a loose puck in the corner. Gill touches up for an icing call.
6:29: Biron makes a huge save on a nice chance by Cooke in tight. That might've save the game there for the Flyers.
6:00: Cooke knocks Parent off the puck with a nice check in the corner.
4:19: Malkin makes another bad pass in the corner to Carcillo.
3:54: Gonchar appears to get away with a hit from behind on Hartnell along the boards. Hartnell looks for a call but nothing.
3:21: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
2:40: Big save by BIron. Kennedy dishes a feed to Staal in the slot. Staal drops the hammer and gets a blistering one-timer on net. Biron boots it out. Staal looks to the sky in anguish. Argh. BIron refuses to lose this game.
1:30: Lupul rips a wrister from the right wing. Fleury punches it out.
0:53: Carter clunks a wrister off the boards behind the net.
0:42: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:27: Hartnell throws a puck on net from the neutral zone. It takes a hop and goes right over the net. It hits off the backboards and comes to the right of the net. Powe is Johnny-on-the spot and swats it into the net by a diving Letang for one of us. That seals the win. Hartnell and Parent get assists. Dan Bylsma calls time out to organize a Life tournament. We think. Flyers 3-1.
0:00: End of game. Flyers 3, Penguins 1, Puppies 0.
-The Penguins probably eventually had to take a tumble here. They had strug together a streak of 12 consecutive games with at least a point. They were due. But there might not be a more costly loss down the stretch in regard to getting home-ice advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. The best the Penguins can hope for is the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and they just lose to the the team they're battling directly for that seed. Additionally, the Flyers have played three fewer games than the Penguins.
-The Penguins will need a lot of help in order to make up what they lost today.
-Perhaps the most startling aspect of today's game was the fact that neither Crosby or Malkin recorded an official shot on net. They won't win any games with a statistic like that.
-As we stated before, Malkin was just off today. He was careless with the puck and just really looked sloppy.
-The power play is still an issue. Yeah, it got a goal today but they need better production from that unit if they hope to accomplish anything in the postseason. And if they face the Flyers in the first round, they must score more goals with the man advantage.
-Additionally, they can't be as undisciplined as they were today. The Flyers had seven power plays.
-The Penguins are now 3-5-2 in their blue rags and have been outscored, 30-20.
-Did anyone see Petr Sykora?
-Don't undervalue what Martin Biron did today. He had two key saves on Cooke and Staal late that really sealed the win. Overall, he was very sharp.
-Overall, we wouldn't really say the Flyers collectively did a lot to win this game. They just punched in a few garbage goals and really just held serve against a Penguins team that was flat.
-The Penguins ended up with a 28-20 lead in shots.
-Kennedy, who we thought played well, led the game with five shots.
-Carter led the Flyers with four.
-Faceoffs were even 26-26.
-Staal was 9-for-15 (60 percent).
-Hartnell (1-for-1) was the only Flyers player over 50 percent.
-Gonchar led the game with 27:28 of ice time.
-Coburn led the Flyers with 26:02.
-Eaton was tops with five blocked shots.
-Timonen led Philadelphia with four.
-Sidney Crosby's point-scoring streak was extended to 13 games.
-Kunitz failed to score for the second consecutive game. Fire Ray Shero.
-Hartnell ended his season against the Penguins with six points (two goals, four assists) in six games.
-Gagne also had six points (four goals, two assists) in six games against the Penguins this season.
-The Penguins did win the season series against the Flyers, 4-2, while the Flyers finished, 2-2-2. Each team scored 21 goals in the series this season.
-The Penguins won a season series against their cross-state rivals for only the third time this decade and for only the 10th time in 41 seasons between the two.