Flyers Knock Out Pens in Game 6

Published on April 22nd, 2012

Flyers and Pens shake hands | Source: Andrew King

by Mike del Tufo

Sunday, April 22, 2012
In this afternoon clash, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in Game 6 to advance to the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann missed this game due to a concussion.  For this game, Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Pens and Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers. 

Flyers forward combinations:
Giroux-Jagr-Hartnell
Briere-Schenn-Simmonds
Couturier-Talbot-Wellwood
Read-Voracek-JVR

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Carle-Gustafsson
Lilja-Kubina

The Flyers burst out of the gate with forward Claude Giroux scoring at 32 seconds of the 1st period after a big hit on Pens captain Sidney Crosby.  The Flyers only had one shot through 9 minutes of this period but they made it count.  Scott Hartnell then scored a power-play goal at 13:01 and the offense started dominating.  The Flyers finished the period leading in shots 10 to 9 and on the scoreboard 2-0.

Flyers rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson stunned the Pens by firing a shot that somehow evaded Fleury and went in at 5:25 of 2nd period.  It was his 1st career playoff goal and only 2nd NHL goal.  Evgeni Malkin then got the Pens on the board on the power-play at 8:34 but the Flyers responded quickly as Danny Briere scored at 9:10 to put the Flyers up 4-1. 

The Flyers coasted in the 3rd period.  They easily killed off a Braydon Coburn minor for hooking at 8:06 getting the better scoring opportunities short-handed.  They then put the finishing touches on the Pens with an empty-net goal by Brayden Schenn at 19:52 to seal the win and the series.

Giroux on the clinching win said, “Right off the bat, being able to get that first goal was huge to get the momentum.  The fans right away got into the game and then we closed the door.  Obviously, we didn’t get a lot of shots in the third period so we were sharp defensively, they really didn’t have much and when they did Bryz played his best game of the series.”

Giroux ended the game with a goal and 2 assists to give him 14 points for the series.  That is a franchise record for most points in a series.  The previous mark of 12 was done twice, by Danny Briere in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final and by Bill Barber in the 1980 Semifinal vs. Minnesota. 

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette on the Game 6 win said, “I thought today was probably our best team game.  You look at the sheet and at the end of the night, when you see 40 blocked shots, you know that there’s a team that’s committed to something, that wants to get to the next round.  They were phenomenal with what they did, defensively we did what we needed to do.  Offensively, we got the chances and the looks that we wanted to, but the big thing for me was defense because that’s a talented group.  I think that’s why a lot of teams – a lot of people liked Pittsburgh because they’re highly talented, they scored a lot of goals, that type of personnel.  So defensively, to come in with a game like we did today, was just a really good job, not by one player or two players but by all players.”

The Flyers next opponent and game is still to be determined.

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