Game recap: Flyers get elusive first win against Pens and tie the series

The Philadelphia Flyers were looking to bounce back from an embarrassing 7-0 defeat in Game 1.  The Flyers were shutout for just the 5th time in their history in Game 1 of a seven game playoff series.  Showing no signs of panic, head coach Dave Hakstol kept the same lineup and starting goaltender, Brian Elliott, for Game 2. The Flyers were looking to even the playoff series with the Pens before returning home.

The Penguins started the first period with the same fire with which they played all of Game 1.  Despite spending the first shift and a half pinned in their defensive zone, the Flyers didn’t break.  The Flyers play stabilized, which was something that never happened in Game 1.  The game remained scoreless until late in the period when the Penguins took a penalty.  The Flyers wasted no time in capitalizing on their opportunity.  Shayne Gostisbehere scored a power play goal, his and the Flyers first goal of the series, with 37 seconds left in the period.  The Flyers would take the 1-0 lead into the intermission.

Penguins goaltender, Matt Murray, had been on quite a roll in the playoffs.  Dating back to last season’s Stanley Cup Finals, Murray had recorded a shutout in 3 consecutive playoff games.  He had been the first goalie since 2006 to have three consecutive playoff shutouts.  The Gostisbehere goal ended Murray’s shutout streak at 225 minutes and 49 seconds.

The Flyers carried the momentum from their late first period goal into the second period. Sean Couturier scores his first goal of the series just 37 seconds into the second period.  The goal gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead and bounced in off of Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.  The Flyers penalty kill was sharp in the second period. The Penguins has three power play opportunities but the Flyers held strong and killed them all off.  Despite being outshot 23-13 the Flyers took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission.

Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott made the play of the game when he stopped Sidney Crosby on a breakaway. The game was still only 2-0 flyers and very much in doubt when Elliott came up huge with the save. Coming off of a sloppy effort in Game 1 where he was pulled in the second period after giving up 5 goals on 19 shots, Elliott rebounded by making 34 saves in Game 2.  The most important of his 34 saves was undoubtedly his save on the game’s best player.

The Flyers once again came out firing on all cylinders and scored a goal just 1:29 into the third period.  Konecny outskated the Penguins defense along the boards and went top shelf on Matt Murray to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead.  Nolan Patrick would add to the lead by scoring a power play goal just over three and a half minutes later.  A Penguins goal by Patric Hornqvist at 5:27 of the third period would do nothing to affect the outcome.  An empty net goal by Andrew MacDonald would seal a 5-1 win for the Flyers.  The 7-0 nightmare of Game 1 is now forgotten and the Flyers now head back home to Philadelphia with everything they could’ve asked for; a series split in Pittsburgh.

 

A Look at the Numbers

Claude Giroux has 21P (9G 12A) in 14 career playoff games vs. the Penguins

Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick each scored their first career playoff goals

The win snaps a five game losing streak to the Penguins

Game 1 was the 39th time the Flyers have gone into game 2 of a seven game playoff series down 1-0; 21 times they have rebounded to win Game 2

Game 1 was the 5th time the Flyers were shutout in Game 1 of a seven game playoff series, this was the third time they bounced back to win Game 2

The Flyers have been 1-1 in a seven game playoff series 34 times in their history; they have gone onto win the series 17 times

My Three Stars

  1. Brian Elliott (PHI) – 34 saves on 35 shots, .971 SV%
  2. Sean Couturier (PHI) – 1G 2A 3P, +2, 27:15 TOI
  3. Ivan Provorov (PHI) – 2A, +2, 27:30 TOI

What’s Next

The series shifts to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for Game 3 on Sunday, April 15th.  Broadcast: NBC & 93.3 WMMR at 3:00PM.

 

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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