Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Philadelphia Flyers have hope after all against Pittsburgh Penguins

Flyers stay alive with second win Flyers beat Penguins to force Game 6
Pete Mitchell | 22 April, 2018, 05:51

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin did not practice, and coach Mike Sullivan did not comment on his status, saying all players are game-time decisions.

Nashville has lost three of the last four games when it was a road favorite and has given up the first goal in each game of this series.

In their second chances at eliminating a playoff opponent, they're 4-1.

Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and passed Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for most playoff points with 173.

The Flyers gave the Penguins five power plays Friday and killed them all.

Giroux said he was relieved to get that no-goals monkey off his back and also appreciated the inspiration provided by Couturier and friends. The plodding Filppula had his most impressive game as a Flyer, scoring a shorthanded goal that tied the game late in the second, setting up two other scores, and helping the Flyers frustrate Crosby (one assist, minus-2). The teams would then go through 92 minutes of overtime before Keith Primeau beat Penguins' goalie Keith Tugnutt in the early hours of May 5th to tie the series, 2-2. Of the team's 86 games this season, 48 have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just four have pushed.

The story of the game was Philadelphia goalie Michal Neuvirth, who stood strong despite being peppered by shot after shot. "They have won back to back Cups and know what it takes".

Anyway, Couturier has plenty to be upbeat about. he's getting a free ticket to the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas in June. This was a Philadelphia team that was streaky throughout the year and had a fair share of ups and downs to get here. Brian Elliott has given up 14 goals on 97 shots faced and Petr Mrazek has allowed two goals on 14 shots. Managing to overcome this as well as a 10-game losing streak in early December, the Flyers would face their in-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

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The third period was all Philadelphia, with goals from Sean Couturier, assisted by Wayne Simmonds, and Matt Read, who was assisted by Filppula. Still, I see the penguins closing out the series in this one as they are by far the better team and do not want to give the Flyers a chance of stealing the series with a game seven.

"It's day to day", Couturier dutifully reported about the "lower body". well, probable right knee problem. that kept him out of Game 4. In addition to being a feisty 0-0 game, there have been only three penalties.

Well, Friday night they came out swinging and they didn't go down.

With Josh Morrissey suspended for Friday's game, Niku would become the second Winnipeg defenceman to make his playoff debut in as many games after Tucker Poolman did so on Tuesday, registering three shots on goal and a blocked shot in 8:17 of ice time. Murray stopped Lehtera's shot, but a hustling Filppula beat Kris Letang to the puck and scored on the rebound, tying the game at 2-2 with 1:45 left in the second.

The Flyers scored only three shorthanded goals during the regular season, tied for 30th in the National Hockey League .

Both teams battled hard in the third with Pittsburgh continuing to attack Neuvirth, putting scoring chances on the net. But Pittsburgh was not done and with Murray on the bench and an extra attacker on the ice, the Penguins continued to pepper Neuvirth. Neuvirth finished the game stopping 30 of 32 shots in his first full game since March 28th. The period would end with the Penguins outshooting the Flyers fourteen to eight but the Flyers seemed to gain the edge in confidence with their late short-handed goal. Pittsburgh, which is ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, has also scored exactly five goals in four of their last five road games against the Flyers. Crosby gained control of the Puck behind the Flyers net.

Neuvirth, making his first start in goal since February 15, stopped 30 of 32 shots and once again showed why he is regarded as one of the best "big-game" goalies in the business.

After practice on Thursday, Giroux proclaimed that the Flyers were going to return for a Game 6 at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday.

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