The Philadelphia Flyers are poised to win their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins as they are currently up by two games, but not without some trouble. The battle between the two Pennsylvania teams was highly anticipated after a brawl occurred in a regular season game a week or so before the Stanley Cup Playoffs began. There was also a lot of trash talk between the two teams before the series even began, which would explain why the Penguins were out for blood in the first game of the series.
In the first game, the Flyers did not seem prepared yet for playoff season. They were slow to start on the ice, and didn’t appear to even start playing until the final period. The first game started with the Pens early on the attack when they dominated the scoreboard by scoring the first three goals. Things looked rough for the Flyers but help came in the second period with a wrist shot by Danny Briere to get the visiting team on the scoreboard.
Despite this upshot the Flyers were still facing a two-goal deficit when the third period began, but this time they were not messing around. Briere again helped the team out with his second goal of the game to even the score. A few minutes later this was followed by a power play goal by Brayden Schenn. This forced a 3-3 tie and led to an overtime period.
During the playoffs, overtime works a little differently than in the regular season. Rather than play for an additional five minutes and then a shootout, in the playoffs this goes into a full 20 minute overtime period until one team finally scores. This overtime period did not take too much time since the Flyers were desperate to beat the Pens, which they did when Voracek scored the game-wining goal. This gave the Flyers the first win of the best of seven series.
The series started out in Pittsburgh so after a home loss, the Penguins were ready to redeem themselves again on their home ice for the second game. They used that motivation to score within the first 15 seconds of the game. The Flyers had their work cut out for them. The Pens still wanted blood and were leading by two goals after the first period. The only Flyer to get the team on the board in the first period was ex-Penguin Maxine Talbot.
In the second period, the Flyers leveled the playing field a bit with some key goals by Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, even though the Pens were up by one goal at the end. This did not seem to matter once the third period began, because this was where the Flyers were starting to thrive with a comeback.
This particular comeback was highly welcomed as it led the Flyers to an 8-5 victory over the Pens, pushing them one step closer to winning the series. Giroux and Couturier were again on the scoreboard in the third, with both players achieving hat tricks for the duration of the game. For rookie Couturier, this was his first NHL career hat trick, making the victory even more exciting. Couturier scored two of the remaining goals in the last period, followed by Jagr, another former Penguins player, and the empty netter by Giroux to give him the hat trick.
The Flyers returned to the Wells Fargo Center for the first home game of the series on Sunday afternoon in the hopes for a third straight win in this best of seven games.
*Note- Game three was played after this article went to press.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.