The Philadelphia Flyers hosted their longtime rival in the Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field for the 2019 NHL Stadium Series.
Brian Elliott received the start after the team announced Carter Hart will be out at least 10 days with a lower-body injury, opposing Matt Murray in-net. Murray had a 2.94 Goals-Against Average and a .913 save percentage coming into the matchup. The Flyers needed to give it their all on both sides of the ice in order to stay in the playoff picture, sitting nine points back for the second Wild Card position.
Gritty, of course, had to make an entrance and did so by rappelling down the roof of Lincoln Financial Field covered in glow sticks. Each team traded chances through the early goings of the period, with Elliott and Murray having to make some tough saves. Sidney Crosby went on to break the scoring plain, netting his 26th goal of the year to put Pittsburgh up one. Jakub Voracek made a costly turnover in front of his own net, giving Crosby the opportunity to put one passed Elliott.
The Flyers weren’t going to go down without some sort of fight, though, as Sean Couturier tied the game minutes later off a sweet feed from Oskar Lindblom. The two forwards scored on the rush and gave Couturier a point in five of his last six games. Philadelphia ended up getting into a decent scrum with the Penguins after a hit from Wayne Simmonds, but neither side took advantage of the energy created with the first period ending tied up at one a piece.
Jack Johnson tripped Nolan Patrick with an accidental knee-on-knee hit and Philadelphia found themselves on the power-play for the first time of the evening. Could they convert? No, but did test Murray with chances on the opportunity. That eventually came back to bite the Flyers, with Justin Schultz roofing one passed Elliott to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Philadelphia simply couldn’t clear the puck and Pittsburgh took advantage with a one goal lead after two periods of hockey.
Philadelphia brought the heat to begin the third, applying pressure in the offensive zone, but were unable to solve Murray as the Penguin lead stayed at one. Again, the Flyers inability to connect offense proved to cost them, with Evgeni Malkin putting Pittsburgh ahead by two with just over 13 minutes to go. Elliott had the puck ricochet off of his glove while trying to make a save and it bounced behind him into the back of the net. Late period goals from James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek eventually brought the Flyers back to force overtime tied at three. Claude Giroux scored the game winner in overtime, completing the comeback 4-3 victory for his squad.
This was a great comeback win from the Stadium Series host, plain and simple. Any true meaning to the season, not including the development of young talent, was basically on the line and they somehow found a way to earn the victory. Plenty of action happened this evening, so let’s get further into it. Here are three takeaways from the Flyers win over Pittsburgh.