The Philadelphia Flyers started off their back to back, home and home series against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a bang. They put on a show, winning 4-0 and controlling play for the full 60 minutes.
The Flyers struck early. After being awarded a power play only 2:34 into the game, they made the Penguins pay. Wayne Simmonds fed the puck to Claude Giroux along the side boards who then passed it to Scott Hartnell in the slot. Hartnell fired a laser over the shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Flyers the lead. Only a few minutes later, while on the penalty kill, Sean Couturier made a great play to set up a goal. After retrieving the puck from behind the opposing goal, he fed Matt Read in the slot who put the Flyers up by two.
The Flyers had many other chances in the first period, but they were unable to produce another goal. They controlled much of the play in the second period, but had nothing to show for it for the first 14 minutes. However, at that point Luke Schenn made a phenomenal stretch pass to Vincent Lecavalier who scored on the ensuing breakaway. The Flyers struck again before the second period ended. Giroux took a defensive zone face-off, taking the place of Steve Downie and being on the ice with Read and Couturier. The trio pushed the puck up the ice and executed a beautiful 3-on-1 to put the Flyers up by four goals.
The Flyers shut the Penguins down in the third period. Giroux, Voracek, Couturier, Crosby, and Malkin all played sparingly in the third period. They were most likely being rested for tomorrow’s afternoon match-up.
-Sean Couturier is a beast. He went head to head against Crosby all day long. Not only did Couturier nullify the superstar, but he had two beautiful assists.
-Matt Read is not too shabby either. Read had two goals and made his presence felt in all three zones throughout the game.
-I could go through almost the entire roster and talk about how well everyone played. It was a fantastic game. Even the Flyers fourth line was able to keep the Penguins hemmed into their own zone for entire shifts. As a unit, the defensemen had their best game of the year. Everyone played well and there were very few, if any, mindless turnovers.
-Steve Mason had possibly his easiest shutout of the season. However, due to the amount of times this season that he has lost a shutout due to terrible play by the team in front of him, it is only fair that he earned this shutout based upon the excellent play of the team. He only faced 25 shots and may start again tomorrow.
-The Flyers are now third in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points. They are one point behind the Rangers how have played in two more games than them.