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In case you missed it, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers–two heavyweights that can’t stand one another–went toe-to-toe in one of the fiercest, dirtiest, exciting and entertaining playoff series the NHL has ever seen last spring.
The Penguins and Flyers went after one another on the ice, literally. The two clubs racked up 312 combined penalty minutes in the six-game series, with the Flyers knocking out the Penguins in the sixth round with a 4-2 series win to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
So, last Saturday’s game proved to be quite the encore between the two teams, nonetheless.
This time however, the battle wasn’t nearly as tenacious as last spring’s playoff series. Rather, it featured a pair of highly skilled teams, who appeared to keep their first in their pockets, and play hockey.
And what a game it turned out to be.
Less than five minutes into the contest, the Penguins got on the board via the power play. Defenseman Paul Martin fired a slap shot that deflected in mid-air into the back of the net.
The goal gave the visitors an early 1-0 advantage in the wake of loud boos chiming down from the 19,994 on hand inside Wells Fargo Arena.
The Penguins didn’t let off the gas. Just minutes later, the Penguins won an offensive zone faceoff and left-winger James Neal fired a snap shot passed Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to make it a 2-0 contest less than 10 minutes in.
The Flyers responded just 0:23 seconds into the second stanza when Claude Giroux received a nifty saucer pass from Scott Hartnell and buried the puck passed Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury to cut the deficit to 2-1.
It remained a one-goal affair down to the final minute of regulation with the Flyers on the penalty kill, but left-winger Chris Kunitz found the puck on his stick and tapped it into the empty net to seal the victory for the Penguins.