The Philadelphia Flyers needed an extra 2:10 of playing time this afternoon to put down the Pittsburgh Penguins, but with a 4-3 victory they were able to clinch third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers will now take on the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The game started off relatively slow. Jussi Jokinen opened the scoring only two minutes of the game. However, there was little intensity in the opening period. The Flyers were able to tie the game in the final three mintues of the first stanza with a beautiful tally from Jakub Voracek. After a diving keep-in from Claude Giroux, Voracek was able to dance around the Pittsburgh penalty kill to tie the game.
The second period was a rough one for the Flyers. They were outshot by a margin of 15-4. However, their first shot of the period came at the 14:38 mark and was a goal for Jakub Voracek. The Penguins controlled the secnd period, but the everything changed with 3:33 left in the period when Jayson Megna took a goalie interference penalty that knocked Mason to the ground. Mason finished off the period but did not play in the third.
The third period had the usual intensity between the Flyers and Penguins. With 5:07 remaining James Neal tied the game at two. Claude Giroux gave the Flyers the lead back with his 28th of the season only 3:52 later. Unfortunately, Kris Letag was able to force overtime with a goal in the final minute.
The overtime period was relatively short. After two minutes of 3 on 3, Mark Streit took the puck on the right wing. He had Couturier driving with him and he tried to put a backhand pass to Couturier. The puck ricocheted off of Fleury’s stick and into the net to give the Flyers the victory.
– Both Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek had a 3 point game. Voracek had 2 assists and 1 goal while Giroux had a goal and two assists. Giroux now has 85 points in 81 games. Voracek has eclipsed 60 points in a season for the first time in his career. He also set a career high in goals at 23. Giroux has tied his career high in goals at 28. Those two are good, and if the Flyers want to make a playoff run they will need them both to be phenomenal.
– Hal Gill played a solid game in what was only his fifth game of the season. Both Nicklas Grossmann and Kimmo Timonen sat out today.
– Steve Mason was fantastic in the first two periods. Flyers fans can only hope that sitting him in the third period was purely precautionary. According to the Flyers beat writers, Berube expects Mason to play the first game of the playoffs.
– The Flyers will face the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. NYR will have home ice advantage. Contrary to popular belief, the Rangers did not own the Flyers this season the way they have in the past. The home team won all four match-ups.