Four minutes into the game, it looked dismal for the Flyers. A timeout started to turn the tide. The Flyers slowly crawled back into the game and put themselves in position to complete the comeback in the third.
A deflection goal by Scott Laughton tied the game with 6:23 remaining, then Claude Giroux's second goal of the game with 2:08 to play proved to be the difference in a 4-3 comeback win over the Penguins on Thursday night.
It was a disastrous start for the Flyers, as the Penguins took advantage of some early miscues to get on the board first and frequently.
It started at 2:46 of the period. Phil Myers and Michael Raffl tied up Kasperi Kapanen in the corner, but couldn't win a puck battle as the puck got back to Kris Letang at the point. His shot fluttered toward the net, was deflected by the glove of Travis Sanheim, and beat Brian Elliott to make it 1-0.
Just 34 seconds later, the Penguins caught Myers pinching and moved the other way on a two-on-one. Sidney Crosby took the initial shot that was stopped by Elliott. As the puck popped in the air off the save, Giroux tried to bat the puck out of danger, but instead knocked it back into the slot where a trailing Mark Friedman got to it first and beat Elliott through the five-hole to make it 2-0.
Just 35 seconds after that, the Penguins were back on another odd-man rush, this time getting a 3-on-2 off a Flyers turnover. A nice passing play allowed Jared McCann to go the net and tip home a goal, making it 3-0 in a span of 1:11 and just under four minutes into the game.
Following a successful penalty kill, the Flyers started to get the better of the play and eventually cashed in on their first power play attempt. Sean Couturier wired a shot to the top corner to get the Flyers on the board at 11:32.
The Flyers had another power play in the period, but failed to score. Through 20 minutes, shots were even at 11.
Early in the second, the Penguins controlled possession, but slowly but surely the Flyers shifted things back in their favor.
At 6:49, Giroux capped off a dominant shift by scoring on a rebound to cut the lead to one.
The Flyers out-shot the Penguins, 13-10, in the period, but there was no further scoring as the game headed to the third period.
Through the early parts of the third, the Penguins were playing shut-down hockey, limiting space for the Flyers and generating some quality chances. One such chance came just past the halfway point of the period, as Elliott robbed Evgeni Malkin with a glove save.
With 6:23 to go, a nice set-up by Oskar Lindblom got the puck to Giroux, who put a shot on goal that hit off of Laughton and went in to tie the game up at three.
As the teams pushed for the go-ahead goal late, Giroux was in the center of the game-changing moment. A nice backhand pass by Nicolas Aube-Kubel to Giroux at the front of the net was tipped in and barely over the goal line to give the Flyers the lead with 2:08 to play.
Elliott and the Flyers held down the fort from there, finishing off the comeback win. Elliott finished with 26 saves in the win. Tristan Jarry made 31 saves in the loss.
Giroux finished with two goals and an assist. Lindblom, Aube-Kubel and Travis Konecny each had two assists.
The Flyers and Penguins close out the three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
- PIT Kris Letang (5) (Unassisted) 2:46
- PIT Mark Friedman (1) (Unassisted) 3:20
- PIT Jared McCann (4) (Kasperi Kapanen, Evgeni Malkin) 3:57
- PHI Sean Couturier (6) PP (Travis Konecny, Jake Voracek) 11:32
- PHI Claude Giroux (2) (Oskar Lindblom, Nicolas Aube-Kubel) 6:49
- PHI Scott Laughton (6) (Giroux, Konecny) 13:37
- PHI Giroux (3) (Aube-Kubel, Lindblom) 17:52