It was ugly, but they got the job done!
The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 as the Flyers have advanced to 2-0-0.
Here is the recap.
The Penguins had the better run of play during the first few minutes of action in the first period, putting a few shots on Carter Hart and establishing zone time, but both teams took a while to get started. This was expected going into Friday night as it’s still so early in a strange season with a limited training camp.
Pittsburgh grew into the game first, leaving the Flyers without a single shot on goal through six minutes of play. The penguins were also hitting, with Brandon Tanev leaving Ivan Provorov holding his hip, and Sam Lafferty laying a high hit on Scott Laughton, causing a retaliation from Oskar Lindblom.
Shortly after all the chaos that emerged from the physicality, the Flyers would go on the power-play as Pittsburgh was called for too many men on the ice. This would become a brief 5-on-3 advantage for a few seconds as Claude Giroux was tripped. During the ensuing power play after, Travis Konecny would find the back of the net on a cross ice feed from Jake Voracek. Konecny was near uncontested at Tristan Jarry’s far post, and he easily scored on an open net. It was the Flyers’ first shot on goal, and they made it count!
Shortly after the Konecny goal, Flyers goalie Carter Hart made a fantastic stop on Evan Rodrigues as the Penguins had a two-on-one, and in transition, the Flyers doubled their lead. There was heavy traffic around Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry’s crease as the Flyers’ launched a counterattack, and in the end, Travis Konecny would jam the puck home in the middle of the scramble to score his second goal of the game. Four shots total, and two goals.
It would quickly then become 3-0 with only twelve minutes gone in the game. The Flyers were rolling! Ivan Provorov launched a laser of a wrist shot past Jarry on a feed from Voracek going low to high after another net-front scramble. This would also be the end of Jarry’s evening as Casey DeSmith would enter the game as goaltender for Pittsburgh.
And NBC Sports Philadelphia’s twitter is correct, this is fun.
Carter Hart would make another great save on a Pittsburgh chance after the play would swing the other way, but Ivan Provorov would take a penalty to give Pittsburgh their first power play of the night.
You know how I just said this was fun. Well, the dang flightless birds ruined it as Sidney Crosby scored a backhander on a broken play as the puck barely crossed the line behind Carter Hart. There wasn’t much that could’ve been done to defend against the goal, but Crosby has one of the best backhand shots in the league and it has taunted Flyers fans since he first entered the league. And unfortunately, it probably always will.
A minute later, Brandon Tanev would drive the net, getting on the end of a Jared McCann rebound to put the Penguins within one. The momentum shifted quickly to the Penguins after the two goals, with the only disruptor to this being a Kevin Hayes breakaway in which he was denied by Casey DeSmith.
The Penguins would see another power play with five minutes left in the period, but the Flyers were able to effectively kill it off. The period would end with another Penguins power play after Nic Aube-Kubel was called for cross-checking.
After one, the score was 3-2, Flyers lead.
The Penguins would start out the period on the power play, but it was quickly discarded as Kris Letang was called for hooking to send the game to four-on-four for around 30 seconds. On the ensuing Flyer power play, however, they were unable to convert.
Both teams traded fast break chances after the special teams play finished, but both goaltenders stood up to tests with good saves. Neither team scored in the first half of the second period.
After a stretch of an even strength play, the Flyers would go to the power play after Mike Matheson was called for tripping, but they were unable to score. Then the two teams continued to trade chances at scoring a goal, with the Nolan Patrick line having a strong showing in particular.
With 6:35 left in the period, the Penguins would go to the power play as Scott Laughton was called for slashing. Due in part to strong penalty killing from Joel Farabee, the Flyers succesfully prevented the Penguins of scoring a goal. Regardless, the power play ended early due to a rogue elbow, which was almost certainly targeted, from Jared McCann to Travis Sanheim.
In the end, there was nothing happening on the Flyer power play, and the game would calm down as the second period would end with no scoring.
Carter Hart managed to bail the Flyers out when they lagged behind defensively, as overall they did not look nearly as sharp as they did in the first period.
After the period on intermission live, long-time Flyers player Scott Hartnell said that the Flyers played “shinny hockey”. Most fans thought he said the you know word. But it was then clarified but NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Twitter that he said shinny.
After two, the score remained 3-2 Flyers.
Early on in the third period, Carter Hart came up with big saves, fighting through traffic to preserve the Flyers’ one goal lead, and after, the minutes leading up to the halfway point of the period were uneventful.
Pittsburgh would go to the power play after Nic Aube-Kubel was called for interference on a big hit on Mike Matheson, but they would be denied as Carter Hart, once again, came through making crucial saves in big moments. Aube-Kubel would end up drawing a penalty himself as he exited the box, much to the ire of the Pittsburgh bench.
Though, the Flyers wouldn’t score on the power play, they would find themselves on a fast break near immediately after the man advantage expired. Claude Giroux fired a cross-ice pass to Kevin Hayes, who fired the puck towards the direction of the goal, and in the end, it would deflect off of Travis Konecny’s stick and into the net for Konecny’s first career NHL hat trick.
And yes, Gritty did throw his hat onto the ice.
The period would wind down with some pressure thrown on the Flyers’ net, but ultimately, the Penguins were unable to beat Carter Hart. Because, he’s Carter Hart. The Penguins would pull their goaltender with around two minutes remaining, but that would prove to bite back immediately, as Oskar Lindblom would score his second goal of the season, slotting the puck calmly into the empty net.
And that was the end of it.
The Flyers got their second win of the season as they sweep the Penguins 5-2.
3. Jake Voracek – 2 assists,
2. Carter Hart – 30 saves
1. Travis Konecny – 3 goals, 1 assist
The 2-0-0 Flyers will take on the 0-2-0 Buffalo Sabers on Monday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 P.M. E.S.T. The game will take take place in South Philadelphia inside the Wells Fargo Center.