Flyers at Penguins - 03-29-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-We'll skip the normal video with "Human" by The Killers and go ahead with the CBC playoff intro from 2009 given the magnitude of tonight's game:

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-Greetings from a brilliant, brisk spring day in Pittsburgh. The sun shining on Oxford Centre:

-Mayor Richard Caliguiri watching over his city:

-The U.S. Steel Building:

-If you didn't know the city of Pittsburgh was named by General John Forbes in honor of William Pitt on November 27, 1758 and the day after the fall of Fort Duquesne General Forbes wrote in a letter to William Pitt: "I have used the freedom of giving your name to Fort Duquesne as I hope it was in some measure the being actuated by your spirits that now makes us master of the place," you do now:

-Some dude making the walk up from down town in a Martin Straka jersey:

-The Civic Arena:

-We got a feeling we're really going to miss this place come playoff time.

-A brave PennDot worker Claude Giroux fan:

-The current barn:

-A ton of folks waiting to get in:

-Former Flyers killer Jaromir Jagr:

-Another PennDot worker An Antero Niitymaki fan:

-If' you're wearing a Craig Adams jersey, you're pretty hardcore:

-The (blurry) ice:

-Some jersey sightings. Brent Johnson:

-The always rare Craig Adams-Bob Errey pair sighting:

-Fans making their way in off Center Avenue:

-Fans making their way up to the 200 level:

-This is the first we've seen of it this way during a game, but glass open area along Washington Place is stunning when the sun is shining in:

-Alex Kovalev:

-Jersey Foul of the Night: Darius Kasparaitis in the Dan Frawley era:

-Ben Eager's on personal sheriff, Gary Roberts:

-Tote bags being given out:

-This is kind of obscure. Justin Williams was a Flyer for like 23 minutes:

-A fitting jersey foul given tonight's opponent:

-Ryan Craig Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins:

-What a view:

-What a jacket:

-Ron Francis:

-Zbynek Michalek:

-Jersey of the Night: Given this man's tenure with both franchises, Rick Tocchet:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Tyler Kennedy, Chris Kunitz, Jordan Staal, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Mike Comrie, Matt Cooke, Deryk Engelland, Eric Godard, Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Tangradi.

-The Flyers' starters are Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, Andreas Nodl, Matt Carle, Andrej Meszaros and Sergei Bobrovsky.

-Their scratches are Chris Pronger, Jody Shelley and Nikolay Zherdev.

-A pretty healthy, "LET'S GO PENS!" chant rains down before the teams even take the ice.

-There's way more pregame energy in this building tonight than at any point of this season.

-Jimerson is ready:

-Jimerson gets a roaring approval from the faithful.


19:45: Another "Let's go Pens!" chant rains down.

19:34: Kunitz smacks Meszaros into the boards behind the Flyers' net while chasing a dump in. Mezsaros lands on his wallet. What a hit. What a reaction from the crowd.

19:01: Maxime Talbot drops Braydon Coburn in the left wing corner of the offensive zone. Plenty of of clean, hard hitting so far.

18:52: Letang sneaks in on right right wing and snaps off a wrister wide to the far side.

18:09: The first power play of the game goes to the Flyers as the Penguins are nabbed for too many men on the ice. Chris Conner will serve the minor. Staal, Adams, Orpik and Michalek take the ice.

17:15: Carle cranks a one-timer from the right half wall. Orpik blocks it.

17:00: Carter tees up a slapper from above the left circle. Michalek kneels down to block it. That looked like it stung.

16:55: Carle cranks a slapper from the right point. Carter is in front and re-directs it wide.

16:44: Staal is off on a breakaway after Carle fumbles the puck at the left point. Staal coasts in on net as Carle and Giroux gives chase but he simply loses control of it as he approaches the crease and fails to get a shot off. Argh.

16:26: Things get evened up as Mike Richards is nabbed for slashing Letang. Four on four for 12 seconds.

16:09: The Penguins' bench minor penalty expires. The Penguins will have 1:48 of power play time.

15:09: Kovalev recovers a lose puck in the right circle and whips it on net. Bobrovsky appears to kick it out.

14:45: Giroux eats the puck behind the Penguins' net for roughly 15 seconds. Wonderful work.

14:35: Giroux snaps off a pass from the right wing corner to the slot. Meszaros is in deep and drives to the net. He takes the pass and goes with a forehand shot. Fleury holds it out with is right leg and freezes play. The Penguins looked pretty bad there. The Flyers controlled the puck for 25 seconds or so shorthanded int he offensive zone. Fleury bailed out his teammates again.

14:26: Richards' minor expires. Not a lot going on there for the Penguins.

12:26: Conner controsl teh puck in the right wing corner and flicks a backhanded pass to the left circle. Dupuis snaps off a one-timer immediately. Bobrovsky fights it off

12:09: Tyler Kennedy smacks Andreas to the ice on the right wing wall of the Flyers' zone. More and more hitting.

9:48: Adams thumps James van Riemsdyk to the ice in the neutral zone.

8:25: Fleury gloves a lb in a of a dump in. Daniel Carcillo skates in applying pressure and kind of presses his stick into Fleury. Fleury responds but pushing him away with a glove. Orpik and Staal approach Carcillo. An official steps in to be a peacekeeper. Carcillo skates away. This game is like a powder keg.

7:55: James Neal comes in on a forcecheck and thumps

7:38: Sick. Just sick! Kovalev coasts in off the right wing on a two on one with Neal against Coburn. Coburn holds his ground and takes away the pass to Neal. Kovalev approaches the net slowly and rips a disgusting wrister to the far side juuuuust under the blocker of a crouching Bobrovsky. Wow. An inch to the left or right or up or down, that's not a goal. That was a perfectly placed shot. Wow. Letang and Letestu. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 1-0.

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6:04: Another penalty for Matt Niskanen. He's sent off for holding Leino on the right wing. Orpik, Michalek, Adams and Talbot take the  ice.

4:35: Dupuis backhand flips a puck from the left circle down ice and out of danger.

4:04: And the Flyers cash in on a powe rplay. Coburn chops a half slapper from the right half wall. It clanks off the far post and ricochets off Fleury's right skate into the cage. A fluky bounce. But the Flyers will take it. It counts as a power play. Carle and Daniel Briere get assists. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.

1:59: van Riemsdyk smacks former teammate Arron Asham on the left wing wall of the Penguins' zone.

1:48: van Riemsdyk flings a wrister on net from the right half wall. Fleury fights it off despite traffc.

1:21: Briere sneaks in off the left wingand flips a little wrister on net from the left circle. Fleury eats it up.

0:00: End of period. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.


-That was easily the best 20 minutes of hockey we've seen in person this season. It was just so intense. And to make it even better, both teams played it very smart. You didnt' see anything stupid after the whistle. Both teams realize there's something far more important at stake than giving someone a face wash.

-The hitting was pretty intense too. Nothing dirty. Just clean, hard, legal hits. The sport is never better than when each team is trying to kill one another through legal means.

-Who needs Matt Cooke taking penalties when you have Matt Niskanen? Niskanen now has taken at least one minor in six consecutive games.

-Hmmm... the Penguins just happened to chose tonight as the night to present all three Western Pennsylvania teams which won the state hockey titles from Eastern Pennsylvania teams. What a coincidence.

-The Penguins have a 7-6 edge in shots.

-Carter and Kovalev each lead the game with two shots.

-Michalek leads the game with 9:09 of ice time.

-Meszaros leads the Flyers with 8:14.

-The Penguins control faceoffs, 12-4 (75 percent).

-Letestu is 7 for 8 (88 percent).

-Giroux is 2 for 4 (50 percent).

-Michalek and Orpik each lead the game with two blocked shots.

-Former Flyer Arron Asham is your IceTime cover boy:


19:12: Kunitz get tripped up inside the Flyers' blue line on the right wing by Meszaros. Kunitz is a little slow to recover to his feet and limps off the ice.

17:41: Dupuis smacks Nick Boynton in the left wing corner of the Flyers' zone.

17:23: Conner circles in the left wing corner and deals a pass to the left circle. Talbot settles the puck and shuffles it on net immediately. Bobrovsky fights it off.

15:59: Carcillo zips up the right wing one-on-one with Orpik. He shuffles a wrister at the net. Orpik gets a piece of the puck. Fleury kicks it out with his left leg.

15:30: "Seach and Destroy" by Iggy Pop and the Stooges:

15:04: After a turnover by Orpik in the right wing corner of his own zone, Meszaros and van Riemsdyk each have chances in tight but can't beat Fleury. Orpik owes Fleury a beer.

13:00: This period has been very stagnant compared to the first period.

12:23: Nick Boynton pinches in deep in the right corner of the Penguins' zone and dumps Talbot with a hard check into the boards.

12:18: With a stoppage, Talbot skates all the way to the Flyers' blue line to give Boynton an earful. An official keeps both parties at bay.

11:54: Blair Betts chops a loose puck in the right circle wide on the near side.

10:57: Darroll Powe appears to get away with a hook or interference minor against Kunitz in the left cicle.

10:39: Kennedy takes the pass at the red line, makes a nifty moves to jam up Timonen and races his way into the offensive zone. That creates a two-on-one with Kuntiz against Coubrn. Coburn kneels down takes away the pass. As Timonen races back and puts his stick in a uncomfortable spot between Kennedy's legs, Kennedy rips a wrister which clunks its way through Bobrovsky's equipment. Tyler Kennedy with his 19th goal of the season. Wow. Orpik and Kunitz get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song and the WWE "Kennedy!" clip are played. Penguins 2-1.

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9:19: Conner races up the left wing with space and speed. He lifts a wrister from the left circle which Bobrovsky bodies away.

9:04: Letang flies up the right wing and snaps off a wrister to the far side. Bobrovsky steers it to the opposite boards with his right foot.

8:09: Kennedy flies up the right wing on another two-on-one with Kunitz against Timonen. Kennedy cuts to the slot, lets Timonen slide by and out of position and has a seemingly clean shot on net but he kind of just runs out of room. He deals it around the cage. The puck end up with Kunitz in the left circle. Kunitz rips a wrister. Richards appears to deflect it out of play. A crazy sequence.

6:57: The Flyers get a chacne to tie the game as Paul Martin is called for interfering with van Riemsdyk off a faceoff in the left wing circle. Orpik, Michalek, Staal and Adams take the ice.

6:41: Versteeg rips a wrister from the slot. Fleury eats it up despite a cluster of bodies in front.

6:15: Tie game. Hartnell takes a pass along the goal line on the right wingand just barges in on et. He's able to sweep the puck under Fleury's stick and into the cage. Orpik smacks him from behind into the cage dislodging it. Those two bear hug and battle along the boards. A scrum develops. No penalties. Leino and Timonen get assists. Another penalty leads to another goal. Flyers 2, Penguins 2.

5:28: Sean O'Donnell gains the offensive zone on the left wing and centers a pass to the slot. Giroux makes a move to open up a litlte space on Letang and rips a wrister to the far side toasting Fleury on the blocker side. Not a good goal for Fleury to give up. More than a few Flyers fans here are cheering. Just like that, the Penguins are trailing. O'Donnell and Meszaros get assists. Flyers 3-2.

1:39: After a stagnant four minutes or so, Giroux clips Neal in the face with a high stick in the right wing corner of the Fleyrs' zone. Neal goes down in heap. No call. Attendance is announced as 18,335. It is the team's 205th consecutive sellout.

1:12: Dupuis teesup a slapper from the right hafl wall. Meszaros blocks it out of play.

0:00: End of period. Flyers 3, Penguins 2.


-Things really took a turn for worst there for the Penguins after that Kennedy goal. They actually controlled played for around five minutes after that goal but the Flyers fended them off and took a lead.

-The Penguins' penalty kill has let them down tonight. If anyone says Matt Cooke isn't valuable, tell them to check out the Penguins' penalty kill since he's left the lineup. They've give up big goals to the Rangers, Red Wing and now the Flyers.

-The Flyers' depth has really come through tonight. They've gotten offense from all over the lineup.

-Fleury isn't having his sharpest game. The goals by Hartnell and especially Giroux were preventable.

-Overall, that period was a lot more stagnant than the first period. Both teams cooled it a bit with regards to the hitting and seemed content to play things closer to the vest.

-The Flyers have a 16-13 lead in shots.

-Letang, Carter and Hartnell each lead the game with three shots.

-Meszaros leads the game with 17:16 of ice time.

-Orpik leads the game with 16:39.

The Penguins have a 21-14 lead in faceoffs (60 percent).

-Letestu is 10 for 13 (77 percent).

-Briere is 4 for 5 (80 percent).

-Adams leads the game with three blocked shots.

-Coburn and Timonen each lead the Flyers with two.

-The Penguins are officially campaiging on behalf of Dan Bylsma and Fleury for awards through media pamphlets:

-Scoring change on the first goal. Carter gets credit for the goal with assists going to Coburn and Carle.


18:29: Talbot sneaks up the right wing and jabs a quick wrister to the far side. Bobrovsky kicks it out with his right foot. Dupuis is there for the rebound but chops it high.

17:51: Talbot has another chance in the slot and jabs a quick wrister on net. Bobrovsky kicks that out. Talbot smakcs the rebound wide of the cage. 

16:25: Kennedy chops a one-timer on net from the right circle. Bobrovsky fights it off.

15:25: A loose puck bounces free on the right wing Letang jumps on it, moves in on net and lifts a wrister to the far side. Bobrovsky fights it off with his left shoulder. Clutch save by Bobrovsky.

14:49: The Flyers call a time out.

14:30: The Flyers catch the Penguins' napping and cash in. Hartnell takes a pass at the top of the slot and flicks a wrister towards the cage. Leino is to the left of the cage. The puck hits off his left thigh and deflects towards Fleury. It hits off Fleury's blocker and deflects into the net. Another fluky bounce. Give the Flyers' credit for finding a way to create these chances. Hartnell and Briere get assists. Flyers 4-2.

11:22: And the Flyers just keep pouring it on. Another fluky bounce Leino controls ap uck to the right of the cage and jabs it on net a handful of times. He finally get sit to flip up over Fleury and over the goal line. It goes over the goal line for a split second before Michalek sweeps it out of the cage. An official immediately points at the cage to signal a goal. The red light goes off. Leino gets credit for the goal. Briere and O'Donnell get assists. Flyers 5-2.

11:01: The Penguins a little bit of help as Carle is nabbed for hooking Neal.  Staal, Kovalev, Kennedy, Letang and Martin take the ice

10:48: Letang rips off a wrister from above the left circle. Bobrovsky gets a piece of it.

10:36: Letang drives a onet-imer from above the left circle. Bobrovsky juust gets a pice of it with his left foot.

9:19: Neal rips a heavy wrister on net from the right circle. Bobrovsky eats it up.

9:01: The Carle minor is killed. The Penguins created a few chances.

6:37: Kovalev gets some space on the left wing and cranks a slapper to the far side. Bobrovsky makes the inital save but allows a juicy rebound in the slot. Neal chases it down but is hooked up by Hartnell and falls to the ice. That's two minutes for Hartnell. Letang, Martin, Letestu, Neal and Kovalev take the ice.

5:13: The ever dangerous Giroux gets loose on a breakaway shorthanded. He moves in on net. Letang chases him down and checks him to the ice knocking the puck away.

4:41: Asham smacks Coburn behind the Flyers' net with a solid hit.

3:52: Leino has a chance at the hat trick but can't handle a puck cleanly in the crease and is denied by Fleury. Lovejoy is sent off for hooking Briere. Dupuis, Orpik, Adams and Michalek take the ice.

2:59: Dupuis taps a clear down ice from the right point of the Penguins' zone.

2:50: Adams flips a backhanded clear from the Penguins' slot down ice.

1:56: van Riemdsyk cranks a slapper from above the left circle. Fleury fights it off.

1:52: Lovejoy's minor is killed. The Flyers didn't really push the issue that two minutes.

0:41: Asham and Carcillo mix it up a bi tin the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone. The officials don't want anything to come of it and send Carcillo to the penalty box for high sticking. Martin, Letang, Staal, Kennedy and Neal take the ice.

0:00: End of game. Flyers 5, Penguins 2.


-There's really not a lot to try and disect about this one. The Flyers were just a sharper team. Each team had chances. Each team made mistakes. The Flyers just did a better job of executing with the chances they had. As a result, they got the two points and took a much clearer path to the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

-The Penguins had a sloppy game all around. They failed to convert on some excellent offensive opportunities. Their defense was way too loose in its own zone. And Fleury did not have his best game of the season. This was a "team effort" for the Penguins tonight.

-The Penguins' penalty kill has been an issue as of late. And we don't think it's a coincidence that their problems on the penalty kill have just all of a sudden sprung up while Matt Cooke is on the sidelines. They gave up two vital power-play goals last Sunday's loss to the Rangers when he was ejected. They gaves up two vital power-play goals against the Red Wings the next night which allowed the Red Wings to come back from a four-goal deficit. And they gave up two vital power-play goals tonight which wiped out two one-goal leads. Matt Cooke's absence, especially on the penalty kill, is hardly insignificant.

-Correction: Carter's goal was actually an even-strength goal. It was scored the second Niskanen's minor expired. It had originally been listed as a power-play goal. That said, it virtually was a power play goal as Niskanen was just coming out of the box.

-The Penguins missed on some marvelous scoring opportunites. Shorthanded, Jordan Staal just lost the puck on a breakaway. That can't happen. He needs to get a shot off at least. And Tyler Kennedy created a chance with a marvelous effort off the right wing on a two-on-one and failed to get a shot off as he had Borovsky dead to right. The puck ended up on the stick Chris Kunitz then ended up in the netting over the boards. There were plenty of other nice scoring chances for the Penguins but those two stand out.

-The Penguins didn't do a very good job around their own net. The Flyers cashed in on a few chances from in tight and didn't really have to pay much of a price to do so.

-The power play continued to be a failure. That said, the Penguins actually created some second chance rebounds but couldn't cash in.

-Speaking of which, James Neal has been a little underwhelming in that area. He was billed as a guy who could cash in some garbage goals, but thus far, he's not had much of an impact around the net.

-Kris Letang's confidence with his shot appears to be a little shaky right now. He's certainly putting plenty of pucks on net, but he just doesn't seem to have the same command he had earlier int he season when he releases it.

-The Penguins had a 27-24 lead in shots.

-Letang led the game with seven.

-Carter led the Flyers with five.

-Paul Martin led the game with 25:36 of ice time.

-Meszsaros led the Flyers with 24:55.

-The Penguins controlled faceoffs, 31-21 (60 percent).

-Letestu was 12 for 17 (71 percent).

-Briere was 5 for 7 (71 percent).

-Michalek and Adams each led the game with three blocked shots.

-Coburn, Carle, Meszaros and Timonen led the flyers with two.

-Orpik (93 points) moved past Russ Anderson (92) and Randy Hillier (92) for 90th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

-Giroux had the game-winner in all three of the Flyers' wins in Pittsburgh this season.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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