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And then there were 13: Powerhouse Pens fall flat

Apr 22, 2012, 3:01 PM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

What began as a promising Stanley Cup run ended humbly on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Penguins lost 5-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers, losing their Eastern Conference quarterfinal four games to two.

In the end, the Pens were unable to dig themselves out of an 0-3 series hole — though they did make things interesting by winning Games 4 and 5.

What happened?

The Penguins fell apart defensively, especially on the penalty kill. Philadelphia set a franchise record with 12 power play goals in the series, scoring on over half its opportunities with the man advantage (finishing at a stunning 52 percent.)

Such an anemic power play would’ve been bad under normal circumstances, but in this series? It killed the undisciplined Pens, who accumulated nearly 150 penalty minutes and had three players (Craig Adams, James Neal and Arron Asham) suspended.

All told, the Penguins allowed 30 goals in six games.

Who takes the blame?

Lots of fingers will be pointed at Marc-Andre Fleury, and rightfully so. He let in a series of questionable markers and finished with horrific numbers (.832 save percentage, goals-against average over four). Pittsburgh’s leading penalty killers — Brooks Orpik, Zbynek Michalek, Pascal Dupuis and Adams — also have to shoulder some of the blame as well.

Evgeni Malkin will likely want to forget this series as well after being outplayed by 19-year-old Flyers rookie Sean Couturier.

What will they do about it?

The Pens need to find a capable backup netminder. Even though Fleury was nightmarish at times, Brent Johnson — who’d fallen out of favor earlier this season — only made one appearance this series, which spoke volumes of Dan Bylsma’s lack of faith in him.

Other than this, there’s not much Pittsburgh can do. It has 18 players on the books for $59 million next year — including maligned defenseman Paul Martin, signed until 2015 with an average annual cap hit of $5 million.

More

And then there were 15: Is Detroit’s dynasty on its last legs?

And then there were 14: Sharks come out flat in playoffs

  1. myvickinabox14 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Victorious!!!

  2. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Heavily favored penguins have been eliminated by the underdog Flyers !

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Isn’t it amazing how all the ‘favorites’ have losted or are losing in their respective series? You ‘experts’ need to re-evaluate they way you make your ‘meaningful’ predictions.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      In the Eastern Conference that is..

    • melonheadsdaddy - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Losted? Really?

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Yes. Losted. Thanks spell check. I had no idea you could talk back.

      • lasallehockey81 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Losted isnt a spell check problem bc that’s how you spell it. The big problem is that it isn’t a word at all. You needed English-check.

  4. scottfmullin - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    How does Fleury snap back into shape for next year? MAF gave up some of the weakest goals I’ve seen this year in only one series. Might see a Luongo-like regression after a bad postseason.

    • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Fleury’s career numbers are worse than Jose Theodore…I don’t think he’s going to “bounce back” to the 2008 playoffs anytime soon…or ever again.

  5. eaglesw00t - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Everyone underestimated the Flyers. Buh bye Penguins. Have a good offseason

    • stepasidesue - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      I am very disappointed in the Pens. They clearly had more talent and didn’t use it.

      • lasallehockey81 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        They clearly have more hyped talent. Not sure about actual talent.

      • biasedhomer - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        The Pens were top heavy.
        The Flyers definitely had more depth, 4 scoring lines.

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      I don’t think anyone underestimated the Flyers. Outside of suspect goaltending, they’re a pretty strong team

  6. raggamffin - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    losted. Haha

  7. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    What time do the penguins play tuesday night ?

  8. lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Wait, no call to blow up the Penguins? What’s wrong with you media folks?

    • hockinj25 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      I was thinking the same thing. Red Wings lost, blow em up. Sharks lost, blow em up. Why not the Penguins too? Heck, why not blow up all 15 teams that don’t win the cup?

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        No, no, not all 15, just the ones that don’t follow the media and fans’ predictions.

    • grudenthediva - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      The media only lives to blow the Pens, not to call for them to be blown up.

    • crashtheboards55 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      First it pains me to say it but the flyers deserved to win. They were the better team. Next i will make the call to blow the Pens up. We need to upgrade our hellen keller defensemen. Second they better get some grit and leadership. Not cheap shots and all talk. The penalty kill, well the Pens need a search party and a GPS to find that. Lots of holes. Players need to find balls and heart.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        I’d add that the Flyers flat out outhustled the Pens too. Overall good series. Shame it had to be in the 1st rd.

      • crashtheboards55 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        Yeah without a doubt. Flyers were faster smarter and better with the puck. Giroux is a great player with leadership skills. Flyers have some grear young talent.

  9. barcthespark - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    The Flyers organization is scheduled to have a disciplinary hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Monday to see what punishment they receive for knocking the NHL HQ and media darlings out in the first round.

    • polegojim - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      Now THAT’s FUNNY!!!

  10. kitshky - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Good solid final game and they’re full marks for the victory but I still don’t see a team that played that kind of defence with that kind of goaltending can do any serious damage in the long run… be interesting to see if they can tighten up for the rest of the playoffs like they did today.

  11. skezskoz - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    There has to be a way they can get the number one pick for a few consecutive years.

  12. hsnepts - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    The Flyers might be the only team in the second round that have ever won a cup…

  13. joebuckiscreepy - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Who takes the blame?

    The Flyers, for being the better overall team.

  14. amerika1313 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    gosh, where’s the “soup can army” now, huh?

    • kitshky - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I heard he threw a tantrum after the 4th goal so his Mummy sent him to his room until dinner.

  15. renberg19 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Worst thing the Penguins did was let Talbot leave. And I’m saying that as a Flyers Fan!

    • vismund11 - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      Or when they resigned s**t bat Tyler Kennedy instead of Jagr. Way to have a memory for one of the all time greats AND one of their best players ever.

  16. emoser - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/10/pht-picks-the-stanley-cup-winner-10-reasons-itll-be-the-pittsburgh-penguins/

    • hockinj25 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Better put that article on Comedy Central’s website.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      BOOM! Roasted.

  17. heyzeus143 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    see ya next year, congrats on winning your championship Philly…..

    • lasallehockey81 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Guess that means you lost your championship… Enjoy your hockey-less end of spring- beginning of summer.

    • sizzle299 - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      F off you loser. Guess what? Your team lost…they were a joke, you are a joke……YOU GO AWAY NOW- BUH BYE!! Make room for the next fan base to peddle their lame comments about the 1974 Flyers…..and all the other played out crap all the fools on here put out. See ya, and don’t hang around like a dingle-berry- spending your free time spewing Flyers hate on here as they march through the playoffs while your team is home [but none will spend the off season in Pittsburgh...hmmm, wonder why?!]…..instead have fun spending the next 6 months waxing your carrot, if you can find it.

  18. govtminion - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Where’s your soup can now, oh Penguin-troll-of-many-names?

  19. arbruins - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    The penguins were all hype…Crosby this, malkin that…they suck, see you next year! Have fun playing golf with Montreal.

  20. miketoasty - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Coming from a Pens fan, they reminded me too much of the Caps from a couple years ago. Run and gun offense doesn’t win championships, its proved every year. Teach malkin and Crosby how to play in the defensive zone and maybe find another Gill like defnlenseman if they want to have any chance in the coming years.

  21. bearsnbills - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    This was by far the worst series I have ever watched. Pathetic level of play, cheap shots by cheap players, horrific goaltending and even worse defense. Everyone looked like amateurs. Philadelphia won’t get a single game in the next round with that “goaltending”…

    • jblah - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      i guess you would say the same thing about your pens if they had won huh?

  22. phillynac - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Knock knock!

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