Dec 25, 2012, 6:30 PM EST
It was the series nobody wanted to end.
In a postseason where top seeds fizzled out early and just four series went the distance, the Flyers and Penguins put on an unforgettable first-round performance featuring more subplots than General Hospital.
The numbers alone tell a story — six games, 56 goals, 309 penalty minutes — yet they don’t even begin to explain what transpired.
Game 1: Philly erased a 3-0 deficit (in Pittsburgh!) to win in overtime. That, combined with the Flyers’ regular season success at CONSOL Energy Center, prompted Philadelphia owner Ed Snider to remark that his team was in Pittsburgh’s head.
Game 2: 19-year-old Sean Couturier scored a hat trick (youngest playoff hatty since Ted Kennedy in 1945) and the Flyers erased deficits of 2-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 to take a two-game series lead.
Oh yeah, the two teams combined for 13 goals.
Game 3: Frustrations boiled over as the two sides amassed 158 penalty minutes, 38 penalties, four ejections, four 10-minute misconducts and three fights (one of which was Claude Giroux vs. Sidney Crosby.)
Oh yeah, the two teams combined for 12 goals.
Game 4: Down 3-0 in in the series and shorthanded due to suspensions, Pittsburgh annihilated Philly 10-3 (13 goals total, for you mathletes.)
Jordan Staal scored a hat trick and 14 of Pittsburgh’s 19 skaters recorded at least a point as the Penguins scored 10 goals in a game for the first time since 1989.
“This is like the weirdest series I have ever seen,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said after the game.
(Fun fact: Pittsburgh and Philly scored 45 times through Games 1-4, an NHL record for the most goals in the opening four games of a seven-game series.)
Game 5: Finally, some goaltending! Marc Andre Fleury, who’d been ventilated for 20 goals on 105 shots in the first four games, stopped 24 of 26 in a huge win, putting the Penguins right back in the series.
Game 6: This happened.
Then, seconds later, this happened:
That sequence of events pushed Giroux into superstar status (assuming he wasn’t already there) and into direct competition with Crosby.
So, having re-lived all that…how much are you missing hockey right now? Sorry. Happy holidays tho!
Mar 6, 2015, 1:36 AM EST
Minnesota, Calgary and L.A. all win on Thursday.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:34 AM EST
Philly comes back with three goals in the third period.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:02 AM EST
Arizona snaps 10-game losing streak.
Mar 5, 2015, 11:46 PM EST
Mar 5, 2015, 11:02 PM EST
Brock Nelson scored the winner.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:23 PM EST
“That. Just. Happened!”
Mar 5, 2015, 10:11 PM EST
“It’s humbling there’s no question.”
Mar 5, 2015, 9:16 PM EST
Once a 30-goal scorer in the NHL.
Mar 5, 2015, 8:40 PM EST
Curtis McKenzie drops the gloves.
Mar 5, 2015, 7:13 PM EST
“At the same time, Mike will maintain his focus on doing all he can to help Nashville win its first-ever Stanley Cup.”
Mar 5, 2015, 6:47 PM EST
Won’t suit up when the Caps take on Minnesota.
Mar 5, 2015, 6:24 PM EST
That’s former minor-league player Jordan Hart.
Mar 5, 2015, 5:27 PM EST
Big forward who doesn’t mind dropping the gloves.
Mar 5, 2015, 4:26 PM EST
He recently called them the “best group I’ve had since ’09.”
Mar 5, 2015, 3:35 PM EST
Might get into coaching.
Mar 5, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Nashville’s won just two of its last eight.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:12 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Mar 5, 2015, 2:05 PM EST
“We only have 19 games left and we have to be winning and getting points.”
Mar 5, 2015, 1:30 PM EST
Mar 5, 2015, 1:20 PM EST
Calgary takes on Boston tonight at TD Garden.
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