The Philadelphia Flyers won their second straight road game on Wednesday night against the cross state rival Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers won 2-1 off of two goals by Brayden Schenn and a great performance by Ray Emery.
The first period started out with a bang. The Penguins appeared to score a goal only 19 seconds into the action. The goal was waved off because Penguins forward Chris Kunitz clearly kicked the puck into the net. The Penguins dominated the action for the first half of the period. However, as the period went on the Flyers began to find their legs. With about four minutes left, Wayne Simmonds made a very good play on the fore-check to free the puck from the corner. He sent a pass out to Brayden Schenn who shot a laser over Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. The Flyers were outshot 16-8 in the first period, but went into the first intermission up by one goal.
The second period looked similar to the first. Although the Flyers came out much better, there were stretches in which the Flyers were thoroughly dominated. About seven minutes into the period, Jay Rosehill took an interference penalty. About a minute and a half into the power play Evgeni Malkin made a beautiful pass to a wide open Sidney Crosby in front of the net. Crosby put it in the back of the net and tied the game at one. Only a couple of minutes later, the Penguins went on another power play. On this man advantage, Kris Letang had two attempts at an open net, but missed both times. Late in the period, the Flyers went on a power play. They even had 21 seconds of 5v3 time in which they did not convert. At the end of the 5v4 power play, Brayden Schenn stuffed home a rebound from a Jakub Voracek point shot. The Flyers went into the second intermission leading 2-1 while being outshot 25-18.
The Flyers came out of the gates in the third period and jumped on the Penguins. They dominated play for the period and forced the Penguins into bad breakouts and numerous icings. There were not a lot of scoring chances either way, but the Flyers kept the chances against themat a minimum. It was not the most flashy period, but the Flyers did what they needed to do to win the game.
Ray Emery played a great game. Although Crosby got one goal on him, he won the battle against the Penguins’ stars. Crosby and Malkin both had numerous chances and were stoned by Emery. Emery saved 30 of 31 shots and kept the Flyers in the game all the way through. He looked solid all game long and was rewarded with enough goals to win.
At a pivotal juncture in the third period, Craig Berube granted Zac RInaldo his long time wish and put him on the PK. Sean Couturier was in the box, so someone needed to step up, and it turned out to be Rinaldo. The Flyers did not give up a goal on that power play and Rinaldo looked just fine.
The Flyers defense played a good game as a unit. Both Coburn and Grossmann played very well and kept the Penguins stars to the perimeter. With the exception of the lone goal against, there were not a lot of missed coverages. Timonen also played his best game of the season.
Sean Couturier was matched up against Crosby for most of the game, but he did see a few shifts against Evgeni Malkin. Couturier did a fantastic job negating the skill of those top players. His defensive maturity is astounding at such a young age.