Penguins Defeat Tired Flyers in Series Finale
After a rough start to Thursday's game, the Flyers dominated the remainder of the game and out-worked the Penguins to claim a character win. On Saturday, the Penguins were the team winning the battles and showing they aren't going quietly.
As the third period progressed in a tie game, the Flyers started to show the lack of energy that comes with playing so frequently, while the Penguins got the only goal that mattered and finished off the game, claiming a 4-3 decision in the rubber match of the three-game series between the two teams on Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers got on the board first by taking advantage of a great defensive play. Scott Laughton stole the puck to start a 2-on-0 the other way with Travis Konecny. The two exchanged passes a couple of times before Konecny finished it off by going upstairs with a shot to make it 1-0 at 6:08.
The Penguins power play took over from there. First, Evgeni Malkin scored on a wraparound on the power play just 1:46 after the Flyers got on the board to tie the game. Bryan Rust was left alone in front and scored on the power play with 1:59 remaining in the period to give the Penguins the lead.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 7-6 Pittsburgh.
Early in the second, the Flyers took advantage on the power play. Kevin Hayes fired a shot that beat Tristan Jarry to even things up at two just 1:20 into the second.
Midway through the period, the Flyers grabbed the lead back. Shayne Gostisbehere fired a shot from the blue line that beat Jarry through a screen to make it 3-2 with 7:56 remaining in the period.
Late in the second, the Penguins got the game tied. An angle shot by Zach Aston-Reese leaked through Brian Elliott and make it a 3-3 game with 1:50 to go. That sent the game to the third with the score tied and shots at 18-14 in favor of Pittsburgh.
In the third, both teams got some early looks as 5-on-5 play continued throughout. Just past the mid-point of the period, a bad change proved costly for the Flyers.
The Penguins moved up in transition, and Jared McCann was able to go to the net and get a rebound to put Pittsburgh back on top, 4-3, with 9:19 to play.
The Flyers never managed an answer, as the fatigue from so many games in the last few days showed. The Penguins continued to win the battles and closed out the game with a strong third period.
Jarry finished the game with 19 saves on 22 shots. Elliott stopped 23 of 27 shots for the Penguins.
Konecny had a goal and an assist, while Laughton had two assists. Malkin had a goal and an assist while Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Brandon Tanev each had two assists.
The Flyers are right back on the ice for another game on Sunday night, returning home to face the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m.
- PHI Travis Konecny (6) (Scott Laughton) 6:08
- PIT Evgeni Malkin (5) PP (Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel) 7:54
- PIT Bryan Rust (8) PP (Guentzel, Crosby) 18:01
- PHI Kevin Hayes (8) PP (Ivan Provorov, Konecny) 1:20
- PHI Shayne Gostisbehere (3) (Laughton, Jake Voracek) 12:04
- PIT Zach Aston-Reese (4) (Brandon Tanev) 18:10
- PIT Jared McCann (5) (Tanev, Malkin) 10:41
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.