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!
Oct 2, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT
Ken Hitchcock says the “playoffs tell you everything.” So what does that say about the Blues?
Oct 2, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT
Seventh overall pick at ’14 draft is headed to WHL Red Deer.
Oct 2, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT
They’re betting on him lasting longer than Spezza.
Oct 2, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT
They didn’t want another top forward to slip away.
Oct 2, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
Toronto signed him to a three-year deal in July.
Oct 2, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
A few tough breaks and the optimism is eroding a bit.
Oct 2, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT
That brings the Penguins’ roster down to 31 players.
Oct 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Thursday’s collection of links.
Oct 1, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT
He may begin 2014-15 banged up.
Oct 1, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
“The next few days will be the turning point,” GM Jim Rutherford said.
Oct 1, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT
The early word is that he’s OK, though.
Oct 1, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
It’s not as foolish as it sounds … maybe.
Oct 1, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
Worth a try.
Oct 1, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT
According to fellow Swede and Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg.
Oct 1, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT
One last chance for a tune-up.
Oct 1, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Where he’ll resume coaching duties for KHL Lokomotiv.
Oct 1, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
Didn’t take advantage of their opportunities.
Oct 1, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT
Sounds like both will start the season at center.
Oct 1, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
Off to AHL Lake Erie they go.
Oct 1, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT
“We have not been in contact with the IOC and they have not been in touch with us.”
- Risk Factors: St. Louis Blues edition 0
- Ryan agrees to seven-year, $50.75 million extension 11
- Julien thinks diving crackdown is ‘step in the right direction’ 37
- Holland doesn’t see Babcock deal by start of season 10
- Risk Factors: Pittsburgh Penguins edition 4
- PHT Morning Skate: Flyers bringing back Ice Girls 15
- Dillon’s agent: Discussions with Stars are ‘frustrating and disappointing’ 7
- NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton 9
- NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale 6
- Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’ 15
- Julien thinks diving crackdown is ‘step in the right direction’ (37)
- Players pushed for coaching fines because they were ‘encouraged’ to dive (34)
- Reinhart admits frustration; time running out to make Sabres? (25)
- Canucks waive Markstrom as Shinkaruk, Jensen continue to impress (23)
- Filip Forsberg has scored two thirds of the Preds’ preseason goals (21)