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Penguins at Flyers - Game 6 - 04-22-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

 PREGAME

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-Greetings from the belly of the beast:

-It's an ugly, chilly, rainy, cloudy day in Philadelphia. Just miserable.

-So... a typical day on this side of the state.

-It's 9 a.m. and the faithful are tailgaiting:

-Citizens Bank Park:

-Lincoln Financial Field:

-Ice:

-One of the things we've repeated constantly since the Penguins fell into a 3-0 series deficit is our belief they will not comeback in this series.  They've pulled out two nice wins here, but it's still a tall order. Two must-win games, with today's on the road are a lot ot ask any team regardless of its caliber.

-But we're not guaranteeing a Penguins series loss the way we did prior to Game 4. How can anyone guarantee anything in this series the way it has unfolded? Very little of this series' script has followed anything resembling the logic of this sport.

-The biggest reason for hope for the Penguins is Marc-Andre Fleury. You know both teams are going to score goals. It comes down to goaltending. Fleury stopped "the next goal" as Dan Bylsma constantly lauds him for. Ilya Bryzgalov didn't stop that goal. As whacky and as improbable as this series has been, we'll take Fleury if it's a 3-2 game or a 10-9 game.

-Special teams have dominated this series and that won't change today. If the Penguins can just limit what the Flyers somewhat in this area, that will go a long way.

-The Penguins need to continue to control five-on-five play. That's been one of their saving graces this series.

-Another aspect which will be important to watch will be the Flyers' blue line. The Flyers are losing bodies on defense. In Game 5, they relied heavily on Matt Carle, (29:40), Braydon Coburn (29:11) and Kimmo Timonen (25:01) in terms of ice time. THe other three defensemen Pavel Kubina, Andreas Lilja and Erik Gustafsson logged a combined 25:52. The Penguins need to focus their forecheck on that top three and force them into mistakes.

-The Penguins' third line needs to keep it up. How many team teams can boast that it's third line center leads the NHL in postseason goal? Then again, Jordan Staal isn't a typical third-line center. This line has been the Penguins' most consistent.

-Evgeni Malkin must keep his head. When Sean Couturier gives him a little bump, don't bump back. Skate away. James van Riemsdyk did a body splash on Kris Letang in Game 5. Letang got up and looked like he wanted to give van Riemsdyk a crosscheck. Instead, he held back and skated away. Malkin needs to do the same.

-We'll have pregame photos up in due time. The WiFi here is slow as it's being stretched thin with the increased media for this series.

-Some sights around the barn. Pelle Lindbergh has a fan here:

-Jeremy Roenick:

-Ray Emery:

-They start them young here in Philadelphia:

-What a shirt:

-The t-shirts being given out:

-Beads being given out:

-A dynamic duo of Batmen:

-Who in the world thought it would be a good idea to dress the vendors here in black and gold?

-A few brave Penguins fans are on hand. Brooks Orpik:

-Sidney Crosby:

-Evgeni Malkin:

-A brave/foolish Malkin fan in the 200 level:

-A complicated relationship:

-Dainius Zubrus:

-This Craig Berube fan recycled his Jeff Carter jersey:

-Dont' call this guy after 9 p.m. Petr Svoboda:

-Former Penguins/Flyers forward John LeClair:

-Another former Penguin/Flyer, Mark Recchi:

-Brian Propp:

-Jersey of the Day: Alexandre Daigle:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Steve Sullivan, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik.

-Their scratches are Arron Asham, Dustin Jeffrey, Ben Lovejoy, Paul Martin, Richard Park and Eric Tangradi.

-The Flyers' starters are Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr, Matt Carle, Erik Gustafsson and Ilya Bryzgalov.

-Their scratches are Oskars Bartulis, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Tyler Brown, Matt Ford, Nicklas Grossman, Ben Holmstrom, Oliver Lauridsen, Michael Leighton, Brandon Manning, Tye McGinn, Zac Rinaldo, Jody Shelley and Harry Zolnierczyk.

-God Bless America:

FIRST PERIOD

19:42: Playing a turnover by the Flyers at the Penguins' blue line, Giroux absolutely wallops Crosbys with a hit slightly away from the puck. This place goes nutes in approval. Crosby appears fine.

19:28: Guess what. And early goal. After a turnover by Letang in the neutral zone, Giroux hustles his way into the offensive zone, cuts inside Sullivan at the left circle and rips a wrister by Fleury on the blocker side. Fleury can't allow that goal. Giroux came to play. The goal is unassisted. Flyers 1-0.

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18:38: Jakub Voracek knocks over Deryk Engelland in the right wing corner of the Flyers' zone.

17:56: A loose puck slides out to Brian Strait above the left circle. Strait steps up and hammers it on net. Bryzglov fight sit off.

17:52: Briere is called for high sticking Strait at the left point. That's two minutes. A questionable call it seems. Letang, Crosby, Chris Kunitz. Malkin and Sullivan take the ice.

17:19: Malkin whacks a one-timer from the right circle. Bryzgalov slides to his left and fights it off.

17:06: Sullivan recovers a puck at the left point and chops it towards the slot. It hits something and bounces in on net. Crosby and Kunitz dig for it like minors. Bryzgalov holds it out.

16:19: After a ton of passing by the Penguins in the offensive zone, Letang chops a half slapper from above the left circle wide to the far side.

15:59: Niskanen snaps off a wrister from the right half wall. Bryzgalov's kick it out with his right skate.

15:52: The Briere minor is killed. The Penguisn seemed hesitant with the puck there.

15:25: Staal appears to trip van Riemsdyk in front of the benches. No call.

13:10: Crosby is on with Malkin and Kunitz.

12:51: Niskanen strikes a shot from the left wall. It hits something in front an bounces away.

12:35: A wrister by Despres from the right point is blocked by Braydon Coburn.

11:26: Scott drops Zbynek Michalek behind the Penguins' net.

10:49: Orpik levels Daniel Briere in front of the Penguins' bench

10:45: Andreas Lilja drives a slapper from the top of the slot on net. Fleury eats it up. No rebound.

10:26: After Giroux fails to keep a puck in at the right point of the Penguins' zone, Pascal Dupuis picks it up in the netural zone and races in on net. He tries to snap off a wrister by Matt Carle does a marvelous job of keeping up with him and getting a stick on puck to knock it wide.

9:23: Neal snap soff a wrister from the left cricle. Coburn partially blocks it with his stick.

8:17: Gustafsson chucks a wrister from the right point. The great Joe Vitale blocks it.

7:21: The Flyers get a power play. Jordan Staal tries to carry the puck into the offensive zone. Brayden Schenn tries to defend him at the blue line but Matt Cooke sets a pick on him knocking him down. Two minutes for interference. Michalek, Orpik, the great Joe Vitale and Craig Adams take the ice.

6:59: Giroux booms a one-timer from the left point. Fleury stretches to his left and appears to hold it out initially. The puck sneaks behind him and is loose in the blue paint under his butt. The great Joe Vitale jumps behind him to smack it forward with his stick. Hartnell dives head first to poke it in with his stick. Officials rule a goal. This place goes nuts. A great effort by Hartnell. A leaky goal by Fleury. GIroux and Voracek get assists. Flyers 2-0.

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6:19: The sing-song "FLEERRRRR.....EEEEEEEEE....." chants begin.

4:49: Jaromir Jagr has a wrister from the right wing blocked by Michalek.

4:22: Grioux snaps off awrister from the left wing. Fleury fights it off. Crosby skates the rebound out of danger.

4:01: Crosby whips a wrister from the left circle. Bryzgalov holds it out. Dupuis jabs at the rebound but no dice.

3:48: Another power play for the Flyers. Daniel Briere gets a little loose on the right wing. . Despres leans down and appear to poke the puck away cleanly. Afterward, he sort of leg sweeps Briere. That's two minute for tripping. Michalek, Orpik, Staal and Cooke take the ice.

2:45: Voracek hammers a one-timer from the right circle. Fleury slides to his left and battles it off. There's a crazy scamble for the rebound. Fleury swims around appears to knocks away the puck with his paddle. Wow.

1:34: A puck squirt loose to the right of cage. Jagr is there with an open look but flips a wrister over the cage.

1:17: Schenn and Letang get tied up at the Penguins' bench. Either Schenn was holding him or Letang was trying to drag him to the bench. Either way, no call.

0:20: Neal tries to goe through the entire Flyers defense off the right wing but is knocked off the puck by Lilja at the Flyers' blue line.

0:04: Jagr gets kind of sandwiched at the benches by Neal and Orpik. It looked like Neal got away with a forearm to the back of Jagr's neck.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That was a pretty up and down period. The only difference was, the Flyers' "ups" were a lot more up than the Penguins' "ups." If that makes sense.

-Both teams had moments of strong puck possession in the offensive zone. The Flyers just converted their chances better.

-Fleury needs to make each of those saves. Franchise goaltenders makes those stops.

-That said, the quality of the Flyers' scoring chances have been better than the Penguins'. They're getting better looks at the net.

-The Flyers seem to have adopted a more defensive look thanks to the early lead. They have collapsed around their cage quite a bit.

-Brzygalov has been strong, but hardly challenged.

-The scary thing for the Penguins is, the Flyers have mis-fired on a few chances.

-The Flyers have a 10-9 edge in shots.

-Giroux, Voracek and Malkin each lead the game with two shots.

-Carle leads the game with 8:58 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 8:12.

-The Flyer shave a 9-8 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).

-Sean Couturier is 2 for 2 (100 percent).

-Staal is 2 for 4 (50 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale leads the game with three blocked shots.

-Lilja and Erik Gustafsson each lead the Flyers with two.

SECOND PERIOD

18:01: Kunitz puts a wrister on net form the right wing. Bryzgalov kicks it out of play.

16:14: Neal snap off a wrister from the left circle wide to the far side.

15:18: A loose puck bounces to theright of hte Flyers' cage. The great Joe Vitale is there but puts the shot wide.

15:10: On a three-on-two, Simmonds lifts a shot from the left wing. Fleury fights it off. There's a scramble for the rebound but Despres crashes into the cage disgloging it.

14:53: Jagr snaps of a wirster from the right circle with a screen. Fleury battles it away.

14:35: That's might end it there. Gustafsson coast into the offensive zone and lifts pedestrian wrister from the left point. Michalek sort of attemps a stick on puck and appears to deflect the shot just slightly. Fleury looks completely unprepared for it and is beaten on the glove side. Can the Penguins come back from this? Hmmmm.... Coburn gets the only assist. Flyers 3-0.

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13:12: Malkin ahs a cahnce to the right of the cage but Bryzgalov is able to get a piece of it.

13:03: The Penguins get a chance to get back in it. Timonen is calle for hooking Malkin in the slot. Niskane, Sullivan, Crosby, Cooke and Staal take the ice.

12:55: A slapper by Niskanen is blocked. The rebound is chopped down ice for a clear.

12:13: Maxime Talbot simply beats Letang to a puck cleared into the Pneguins' zone, circles behind the net and deals a pass to Giroux in the right circle. Giroux pumps a wrister on net. Fleury kicks it out. Letang looked sluggish there.

11:42: Couturier races up the left wing and fires a shot wide thanks to a stick check from Niskanen.

11:35: The Penguins' can't even get the puck out of their zone. Couturier steals a puck at the blue line

11:26: The Penguisn finally get on the score board. Malkin lugs the puck into the offens vezon. He holds, hold hold and waits for Lilja to slide down. Malkin uses him as a screen and snaps off a wrister to the far widh by Bryzglov's blocker. What a great display of patience by Malkin. The goal is unassisted.

10:50: And Flyers get it right back. Voracek races up the right wing and deals a to the left of the crease. Briere bats it on net. It hits off the skate of Michalek an slides under Fleury's five hole and juuuust slides across the goal line. Just rotten luck there. Officals review the goal and confirm the score.  Time is running out on the Penguins.  Voracek and Carle get assists. Flyers 4-1.

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9:58: Letang has a slapper from the left point blocked by Hartnell.

9:53: Battling for a loose puck on the right wing boards, Hartnell dives and takes out Letang's legs. That's two minutes for tripping. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Sullivan and Letang take the ice.

8:48: Neal lifts a wrister from the left circle. It hits a stick and hops off Bryzgalov's right shoulder. There's a scramble for the rebond. Bryzglov smothers.

7:48: As Hartnell's minor is killed, Niskanen puts a wrister from the left circle on net. Bryzgalov boots it out. Malkin is there for the rebound but is handcuffed a bit. He puts the shot wide.

6:09: Giroux cuts in off the left wing around a check by Neal and rips a wrister to the far side. Fleury gloves it.

5:30: Cooke steals a puck in the neutral zone and chips it into the offensive zone's right wing corner. Gustafsson recovers it but is smacked by Cooke. Gustafsson is off balance for a second but stays on his skates.

3:48: Coburn pops a slapper from the right point which Kunitz blocks.

2:46: Crosby floats a wrister from the left circle to the slot. Staal is there and tries to re-direct it on net but he puts it wide.

2:31: Giroux whips a loose puck on net from the right circle. Fleury fights it off despite a screen.

1:34: The Flyers are in chip a change mode. They're just putting the puck in deep in the Penguins' zone and changing lines. Very little offensive pressure.

0:15: A puck hops up near the Flyers' bench and hits a players' skate. There's a delay of game as officials try to figure out if there's a penalty. None is awarded.

0:04: Malkin is dropped beyind the Flyers' net.

0:00: End of period. Flyers 4, Penguins 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Twenty minutes. The Penguins have 20 minutes to salvage this. And the way things went the 40 minutes, it's looking bleak.

-The Flyers are just doing a better job of challenging every puck. They're first to nearly every loose puck. Scott Hartnell is diving head first after loose pucks. No one on the Penguins is doing that.

-Offensively, the Penguins' defense is having trouble with the Flyers' on the rush. It looks like a repeat of games 1 through 3. The FLyers are entering the zone with a ton of speed and just peppering Fleury with pucks.

-The scary thing is, the Penguins are going to be taking a ton of chances this period to tie this game up. They'll also be giving the Flyers a ton of chances going the other way.

-It's hard to blame Fleury on either of those goals in the second period. Both seemed to come off cruddy hops off Michalek. That said, Fleury has to be better. He has to be perfect this period.

-The Flyers have a 20-19 edge in shots.

-Giroux leads the game with five shots.

-He has come to play.

-Niskanen and Malkin each lead the Flyers with four.

-Coburn leads the game with 20:07 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 18:41.

-The Penguins have a 22-19 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).

-Couturier is 5 for 6 (83 percent).

-Staal is 5 for 8 (63 percent).

-Gustafsson lead the game with four blocked shots.

-The great Joe Vitale leads the Penguins with three.

THIRD PERIOD

19:33: Neal snaps off a wrister from the right circle. It's blocked wide.

18:16: The Flyers get a power play. Niskanen his called for slashing. Giroux in the right wing corner of the Penguins' zone.  Malkin, Orpik, Cooke and Mihalek take the ice. The Flyers can seal this thing here. Do or die here for the Penguins.

16:57: Letang is able to chip a puck off the boards from the right wing corner down ice for a key clear.

16:16: The Penguins get a big kill.

15:41: Malin tries to snap off a spinning pass from the right point to the slot for Kunitz. Coburn steals it and calmly chips it off the left wing boards down ice. Great play.

14:49: Sullivan puts a backkhander on net from the left circle. Brygalov steers it away.

13:54: A wrister by Dupuis from the slot is wide to thelef to the cage.

13:27: A wrister by Michalek in the right circle is blocked in front.

12:52: The Penguins are shooting everything at the cage. A wrister by Despres from the left circle is blocked in front.

12:20: A wrister by Neal in the left circle is partially blocked by Timonen and skids in on net. Bryzgalov covers to freeze play. Neal takes an awkward spill into the end boards after a shove by Timonen. He's fine.

12:18: Malkin wins the ensuing faceoff in the left circle hoping to hook up with Neal behind them on their faceoff play. Talbot dives to poke it away. Great play.

11:54: A big chance here for the Penguins. Coburn hooks up Malkin in the right wing corner. The Penguins have to scor ehere. Letang, Sullivan, Cooke, Crosby and Malkin take the ice.

11:40: Sullivan whacks a slapper from the right point. Bryzglov punches it away with his blocker.

11:21: Off a rush, Cooke smacks a one-time from the right circle. Bryzgalov says no.

9:56: The Flyers kill off the penalty. Their fans offer a standing ovation.

9:35: Staal fires a wrister from the left circle. Lilja drops to his knees and blocks it.

8:26: Jagr simply steals a puck off Staal in the right wing corner from Staal, circles around and rips a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off.

7:47: Niskanen pumps a wrister over the cage.

7:35: Michalek puts  one-timer form the slot wide of the cage.

6:50: Letang whacks a half slapper from the right point on net. Bryzgalov steers it away. With his right skate.

5:53: Niskanen strikes a slapper from the right point wide to the near side.

5:10: Neal steals a puck off Coburn at the righ tpoint of the Flyers' zone and races up the left wing. Coburn recovers and is able to keep with Neal knocking the puck off his stick.

4:56: Staal rips a wrister from the left circle wide on the near side.

4:02: "WE DON'T LIKE YOU!" chants rain down.

3:55: With the Flyers just refusing to let the Penguins get the puck out of their own zone, fans offer a standing ovation.

3:31: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

3:20: "HEY, HEY, HEY, GOOD-BEY" chants start.

3:15: Gustafsson flips a puck out of play from his own zone. That's delay of game. Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Sullivan, Kunitz and Neal take the ice.

3:02: The Penguins get a little life for a moment.Neal just kind of barges hiw ay int from the left wing on net and just kind of shoves Bryzgalov and the puck into the cage. Officials initially rule a goal. They confer and overturn the call. They rule Neal shoved Brygalov in.

2:20: Talbot airmails a puck from the neutral zone wide of the open cage.

1:39: Malkin redirects a puck from the left wing on net. Bryzgalov kicks it out.

1:15: "YOU CAN'T BEAT US!" chants.

0:51: A wrister by Crosby from the left wing is deflected high.

0:46: The Penguins call a timeout to prolong the agony.

0:07: A fitting end. Malkin tries to skate the puck into the offensive zone and has it stolen by new Penguins nemesis Brayden Schenn. Schenn pushes it forward and chips it down ice from the red line for one of us:

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-The goal is unassisted. Flyers. 5-1.

0:00: End of game. End of season. Flyers 5, Penguin 1.

POSTGAME

-We'll have a full-fledged postmortem report of this team and this series tomorrow. Tune in.

-When you think of the NHL's great rivalries - Oilers/Flames, Bruins/Canadiens, etc. - there's one thing you need to keep in mind. One side doesn't win all the games. Great rivalries are two-sided. Each team wins. This one is no different.

-The Penguins simply weren't the better team. They simply didn't match up against this foe. The Flyers had talent up front on all four lines. The Penguins had deficincies on the blue line. It's a bad combination for the Penguins.

-Marc-Andre Fleury just wasn't his best. He needed to be a lot better this series. He's not to blame solely for this failure. But he will get a large share of it.

-Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin weren't at their best. They were good. But not great. Two of the world's greatest players need to be great every game. They just weren't.

-Kris Letang is a potential Norris Trophy candidate and one of this team's leaders. He was neither in this series. He played selfishly at times in term of taking chances and engaging in small personal battles after the whistle. He hurt this team more often than not.

-What do you say about special teams? The FLyers dominated them. Period. The Penguins' top notch penalty kill was shredded.

-Claude Giroux is an amazing player. He just ripped the Penguins apart this series. His hit on Crosby to open this game pretty much set the ton. His teammate raved about how he was in a zone to start the game. Peter Laviolette pretty much said Giroux order Laviolette to start him. He led this team. He was by far the best player in this series.

-The Flyers' all out effort on defense was amazing. They got the early lead and that allowed them to collapse aroudn the cage. They ended up blocking 40 shots.

-The Penguins led in shots, 31-23

-Malkin led the game with six.

-Giroux led the Flyers with five.

-Letang led the gme with 31:44 of ice time.

-Coburn led the Flyer swith 29:27.

-The Flyers had a 34-28 lead in faceoffs (55 percent).

-Couturier was 9 for 12 (75 percent).

-Staal was 8 for 15 (53 percent).

-Erik Gustafsson led the game with seven blocked shots. Yeesh.

-Coburn, Lilja and Carle each had six.

-Neal, Orpik and the great Joe Vitale each had three.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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