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Tale of the Tape: Penguins vs Flyers

Apr 15, 2012, 2:23 AM EDT

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) scores past Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) scores past Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers will host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal (3:00 pm ET, NBC). The Flyers lead the series 2-0; here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.

Leading scorers

Philadelphia: Claude Giroux (3G-3A-6PTS) | Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby (2G-2A-4PTS)

Starting goalies

Philadelphia: Ilya Bryzgalov (2-0, 3.92 GAA) | Pittsburgh: Marc-Andre Fleury (0-2, 5.46 GAA)

Head-to-head

(Philadelphia won reg. season series 4-2)

Dec. 8: At Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2
Dec. 29: Philadelphia 4, at Pittsburgh 2
Feb. 18: Pittsburgh 6, at Philadelphia 4
March 18: At Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2, OT
April 1: Philadelphia 6, at Pittsburgh 4
April 7: At Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 2

Game 1: Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 3

Sidney Crosby scored the first goal of the playoffs, kickstarting a dominant period for the Penguins. Although Philadelphia is one of the better teams in the league when it comes to bouncing back after falling behind, the Penguins looked good after establishing a 3-0 lead over 20 minutes.

The second period was a more even affair, most notable for Danny Briere scoring a goal despite being offside — the call was missed and the goal stood, so the Flyers’ got on the board.

Philadelphia did not immediately pick up momentum from that break, but it did mark a slow turning of the tide. Briere netted his second goal of the game at 9:17 of the third period and then Brayden Schenn found the back of the net a little over three minutes later.

That sent the game to overtime, where Jakub Voracek won the game for Philadelphia 2:23 into the extra frame.

Game 2: Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 3

Philadelphia, with some hard work and the aid of a big break in Briere’s overtime goal, were able to overcome a sizable deficit in Game 1 — but they could not afford to do that again. The Flyers went into this game knowing they needed to come out strong to avoid putting themselves in another hole.

That plan lasted all of 15 seconds – the time it took Sidney Crosby to once again hand the Penguins a 1-0 lead. The Penguins dominated the first period and went into the intermission with a commanding 3-1 lead. Once again Plan A had failed for the Flyers, but fortunately, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier had one heck of a Plan B.

Couturier and Giroux combined for six goals over the next 40 minutes. Although the Penguins had their moments over that period, they were brief, and when looking back on the game, those final two periods resemble a slaughter more than an even fight.

Giroux finished the game with six points, the most in a playoff game since April 23, 1992. Couturier was the third rookie in Flyers’ history to earn a playoff hat trick, and the Flyers took a 2-0 series lead — which in their 44-year history, they have never coughed up.

Injuries

Pittsburgh: Matt Niskanen (upper body)

Philadelphia: James van Riemsdyk (foot), Marc-Andre Bourdon (upper body), Tom Sestito (groin), Andrej Meszaros (lower body), Chris Pronger (concussion), Blair Betts (knee), Ian Laperriere (concussion)

  1. bobhpine - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    But the flyers won’t win the cup because they always choke

    • Buffalo Grumblings - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      neither are the Penguins

    • biasedhomer - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      The Flyers area 5th seed, they will likely face a higher seed in every single playoff matchup, there is no way a lower seeded team can choke. It only works for favorites.

  2. mclovinhockey - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    I think this article loses all credibility when it mentions Danny was offsides. Okay it happened, get over it… Lets not mentions that the 3rd goal for Pitt was on a blown icing call. Good work.

  3. buffalomafia - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Start checking Cynthia Crosby more!

  4. areyesrn - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Oh man…if the Flyers only had Pronger…

  5. ml3939 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    @bobpine, isn’t choking being the cup favorite repeatedly blowing 2 and 3 goal leads and getting knocked out in the first round. Just go back in hibernation with genopringles and secretly thumbs down all the pro-flyers commentary. You two can continue the Pittsburgh blowing all you want.

  6. michflaguy - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Oh man…we Red Wings fans are ecstatic about today! We will take a commanding lead over Nashville and watch the Pens be placed in a position they cannot overcome. This is why I love the Stanley Cup playoffs…*anything* can happen.
    Go Red Wings (and go Flyers!).

  7. mojosmagic - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    It’s really quite simple. It’s not just that the Pens have been losing to the Flyers all year but how they do it. The Flyers keep falling behind and the Pens can’t hold a lead against them. No lead is safe no matter what the score. Demoralizing. Flyers in 5.

  8. ottomanismydog - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Most of Pittsburgh must be unaware of this blog – not often a blog website comment section is totally dominated intellectually by a Philadelphia fan base.

    With a win today Pens in 7! Without, that’s a different story.

  9. bobhpine - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Choking is never winning the cup… Your team never actually wins anything… Mine does though

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