Dec 25, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT
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!
Sep 14, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT
The Hall of Famer has been tasked with aiding bench boss Ted Nolan in Buffalo’s difficult rebuild.
Sep 14, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT
But who and when?
Sep 14, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
He might not miss two months as initially feared.
Sep 14, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT
Training camp will “absolutely” have a different mood to it.
Sep 14, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT
The Flyers have high hopes for the young defenseman.
Sep 14, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT
He looked like a serious Hart Trophy candidate in the first half of 2013-14.
Sep 14, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT
But can he contribute at the NHL level?
Sep 14, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT
Was rumored to be heading out of Buffalo at NHL Draft.
Sep 14, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Ryan McDonagh likely choice to wear ‘C’.
Sep 14, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
Calgary’s prospects show hope for the future in southern Alberta.
Sep 14, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT
Opportunities available for prospects Boone Jenner and Alexander Wennberg.
Sep 14, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
That’s him, wearing No. 74 for the Oilers, during a pre-season game last year.
Sep 13, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Or he may only be out for two weeks.
Sep 13, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Report: He will have it checked out in Dallas.
Sep 13, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
Philly bought out the high-priced goalie in the summer of 2013.
Sep 13, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
He was taken fourth overall in June’s NHL Draft.
Sep 13, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
He re-signed with the Habs this summer. Eight years, $72 million.
Sep 13, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
That’s terrific news.
Sep 13, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT
He won’t play Saturday evening.
Sep 13, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
The 23-year-old defenseman is prepared to miss camp if a deal isn’t reached.
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