With the Philadelphia Flyers entering game three, they've found themselves in much of the same situation as the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference. The Flyers took the Ice at Wachovia Center to a sell-out crowd decked out in orange, and what a sight it was for the viewers on T.V. The Flyers faithful were passion filled and were more than ready to see their hometown boys beat their in state rivals.
The first period would fly wide open for the Penguins almost from the get-go as at 3:33, Derian Hatcher of the Flyers took a hooking call which would then allow the Penguins to score a power play goal on a Ryan Whitney snapshot at 5:03. The Penguins would maintain momentum and score again from a Marian Hossa snapshot at 7:41 giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead. At 8:03, Tyler Kennedy of the Penguins took a two-minute minor for delay of game when the puck went over the glass but the Flyers would be unable to capitalize on their opportunity. At 8:30, The Flyers would find themselves shorthanded thanks to a Danny Briere hooking penalty. Not long after, at 8:55, the Penguins Marian Hossa would find himself in the box for hooking. The Flyers would cut the Penguins lead in half at 10:59 on a wrist shot goal by R.J. Umberger. Ryan Malone would close out the penalties for the Penguins in both the period and the game at 11:50 for hooking. At the end of one, the Flyers would be in a close contest with the Penguins. It would take a lot more shots and a lot less mistakes to prevent a 3-0 Pittsburgh series lead.
The only action as far as statistics would go in the second period would be a Scottie Upshall, tripping penalty on the Flyers forward at 7:40. Neither team would score in the period and by the end of the period, the Penguins had almost two times as many shots on goal as the Flyers had. For the Flyers to pull out a win, they need to improve in the offensive zone and put more pucks on net.
The third period began with hopes of promise for a win for the home town team. These dreams would begin to fall apart at 9:58, on a Ryan Malone backhand goal, to put the Penguins up 3-1. The Flyers would continue to try to climb back in the game, but the amazing goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury would protect his teams lead. Finally at 19:06, the city of brotherly love’s heart broke in unison as Marian Hossa netted his second goal of the game - on a wrist shot - on an empty net opportunity. This led the Penguins to a 4-1 victory and giving them a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
Game four is in Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center on Thursday, May 15th at 7:30 Eastern Time. The Flyers must win or they will be eliminated from the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images via the Philadelphia Flyers website