NHL

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Flyers take 2-0 series lead over Pens

That's offensive
The Flyers have scored a dozen goals in the first two games of this series.
Share This Story

   
 

PITTSBURGH (AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers fell behind. Again. And it didn't matter. Again.

Who needs the first period anyway? Not the Flyers, who keep finding increasingly inventive ways to stun the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Claude Giroux had three goals and three assists to set a franchise record for points in a playoff game, rookie Sean Couturier had a hat trick of his own and Philadelphia rallied for a wild 8-5 victory Friday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Two nights after turning an early three-goal deficit into a 4-3 overtime win, the Flyers were even more impressive while taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Penguins had leads of 2-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 at home and still couldn't fend off Philadelphia, which did a little bit of everything.

The Flyers scored a pair of short-handed goals, added one on the power play and threw in an empty-netter to push a Pittsburgh team considered a Stanley Cup favorite to the brink.

''I don't know how many times we'll be able to do comebacks like that,'' Giroux said. ''We've got to have a better start.''

At this point, why bother?

Philadelphia scored seven goals in the game's final 35 minutes, responding every time it appeared the Penguins were finally ready to take control. Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot - both Cup winners in Pittsburgh - also scored for the Flyers, who host Game 3 on Sunday.

''This team can always score goals,'' said Jagr, who gave Philadelphia its first lead in regulation in the series midway through the third period. ''We've got a lot of guys who can score goals.''

Including the 19-year-old Couturier. Assigned to slow down Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, Couturier outscored the Russian instead for the first hat trick by a Philadelphia rookie since Andy Delmore in 2000.

NHL Playoff Central

NHL PLAYOFFS

Stay up to date with all the NHL's latest at Playoff Central.

Couturier admitted to feeling some jitters before the series opener. Funny, he hardly looked nervous when his third goal of the night sewed it up with 1:49 remaining before Giroux's empty- netter completed the scoring.

''He's 19, but he plays like he's 28,'' Giroux said.

Ilya Bryzgalov overcame another shaky start to stop 23 shots for the Flyers, who never blinked after getting down by multiple goals for the ninth time in their last 14 games.

''You have a choice to win the game or give up,'' Bryzgalov said.

Chris Kunitz had two goals for Pittsburgh, and Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy scored for the second straight game, but the Penguins again failed to close out the Flyers.

The Penguins tried to downplay their collapse in the opener, insisting there was plenty of hockey to play.

Perhaps, but there might not be much left after another stirring comeback by the Flyers. Philadelphia is 17-0 when it wins the first two games of a series.

''We've got to find a way to be better with the lead,'' Crosby said. ''We know they're going to keep coming.''

The Flyers proved it in the third period after Kennedy's goal put the Penguins up 5-4.

It took Philadelphia just 17 seconds to respond, as Couturier created a turnover and broke in alone on Marc-Andre Fleury. The score seemed to suck all the energy out of the Consol Energy Center and what little remained disappeared when Jagr put the Flyers in front for the first time with less than 11 minutes to go.

Yardbarker

CALL HIM A-ROLL-DIS

Was Aroldis Chapman's postgame celebration the dumbest ever? Watch it at Yardbarker.

''We need to limit our mistakes, that's really what it comes down to,'' Crosby said. ''The mistakes we've made have ended up in our net.''

The ending was in stark contrast to another electric start by the Penguins.

Crosby needed all of 15 seconds to give Pittsburgh the lead, working a give-and-go off the opening faceoff with Steve Sullivan and ripping a one-timer by Bryzgalov. The goal tied Pittsburgh's franchise mark for fastest goal to start a playoff game, set by Greg Malone against St. Louis in 1981. It also was the quickest allowed by Philadelphia opponent in playoff history, breaking the mark of 21 seconds set by Chicago's Jim Pappin in 1971.

The lead grew to 3-1 by the end of the first period.

Yet just like Wednesday - when the Penguins led 3-0 after the first 20 minutes - it wasn't nearly enough.

The Flyers rallied to tie it at 3 behind Giroux, who scored on the power play then beat Fleury with a wrist shot for Philadelphia's second short-handed goal of the night.

The tie lasted all of 6 seconds, or as long as it took Kunitz to pounce on a rebound and slide the puck into the open net.

Still, the Flyers wouldn't back down. Couturier tied it at 4 just before the second intermission horn, erasing all of Pittsburgh's momentum and setting the stage for another victory by the NHL's most resilient team.

''When you're able to come back in a game like that again it speaks volumes about character in the room,'' Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said. ''Fighting back like that is not easy.''

NOTES: Philadelphia defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon was scratched after sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 1. ... The Penguins scratched defenseman Matt Niskanen because of an upper-body injury. ... Viewership for the first two days of the playoffs is up 22 percent over 2011, according to the NHL. ... Crosby's goal was the 32nd playoff tally of his career, tying him with Ron Francis for fourth on Pittsburgh's list. ... Bylsma has coached in 46 playoff games, tying Eddie Johnston for most postseason games in franchise history.

Tagged: Flyers, Penguins, Jaromir Jagr, Ilya Bryzgalov, Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Marc-Andre Fleury, Claude Giroux

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt