The Philadelphia Flyers proved Game 1 didn't define them with a sometimes solid, other times hectic 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 to tie the series at one.
The Philadelphia Flyers proved one embarrassingly hellish game in a seven-game series doesn't mean the series is over as they gain the valuable road split in a 4-1 win in Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Such a huge victory would not be possible if not for the valiant effort of goaltender Brian Elliott. After being lit up for five goals in Game 1, Elliott made several great saves, particularly with a 2-0 second period lead, to ensure a victory.
Perhaps the turning point of the game came when Elliott stymied Sidney Crosby on a breakaway after Claude Giroux turned the puck over at the blueline. Crosby was all alone and deked to his backhand, but Elliott stayed with him the entire time to keep Philadelphia up by two.
A goal there by the Penguins captain may have sparked an offense deluge for the Penguins as they besieged the Flyers throughout the second period, but could not find the back of the net.
On the night, Elliott stopped 34 of 35 shots. Without question, he was the team's most valuable player on the night.
Another key difference for Philadelphia tonight was it was finally able to get on the scoreboard.
The Flyers tallied late in the first period during a four-minute double minor. After some feverish pressure from Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick to prevent the Penguins from clearing the zone. Giroux found Shayne Gostisbehere for a point shot. Thanks to an excellent screen by Patrick, Penguins goaltender Matt Murray could not pick up the shot in time and he only caught a piece of the puck before it trickled into the net.
Philadelphia jumped out to a two-goal lead 47 seconds into the second period after a Couturier shot bounced off Kris Letang and careened into the Pittsburgh net.
Travis Konecny gave the Flyers an early third period tally to help ease the strain of the Penguins second period siege.
Konecny burst past Chad Ruhwedel and rushed into the Pittsburgh zone. With the Penguins defender behind him, Konecny roofed the puck over Matt Murray's glove on the short side.
Shortly afterward, Couturier found Patrick with a nifty no-look, between the legs pass allowing the untouched rookie to bury his first playoff goal into a wide open net on the power play.
Just 17 seconds later, Patric Hornqvist broke a potential Elliott shutout bid with a wrister that beat Elliott over his glove and to the short side.
It was easy to write off the Flyers after a wretched Game 1, but this victory puts the Orange and Black in the driver seat of the series on paper. The road split in the first two games allows the lower seed team to potentially close out the series through home ice wins alone. While not always realized, it does put the onus on the Penguins now to capture a game in Philadelphia.
Speaking of which Philadelphia for Game 3 with a chance to take a 2-1 lead in the series against these very same Pittsburgh Penguins. The game is set for a 3 p.m. start this Sunday from the Wells Fargo Center with NBC carrying the coverage and 97.5 The Fanatic handling the radio call.
- PHI - Shayne Gostisbehere (1, 19:23) from Claude Giroux (1) and Sean Couturier (1) - PPG
- PHI - Sean Couturier (1, :47) from Ivan Provorov (1) and Michael Raffl (1)
- PHI - Travis Konecny (1, 01:29) from Wayne Simmonds (1) and Ivan Provorov (2)
- PHI - Nolan Patrick (1, 05:10) from Sean Couturier (2) and Jake Voracek (1) - PPG
- PIT - Patric Hornqvist (1, 05:27) from Justin Schultz (2) and Brian Dumoulin (3)
- PHI - Andrew MacDonald (1, 19:44) from Jori Lehtera (1) - ENG