The Flyers, possibly breathing with new energy from the underdog victory last night in Dallas, came out more than prepared to play; prepared to lay it all on the line to avoid elimination, and like their Dallas counterparts, live one more day in seeking Lord Stanley’s Cup. For the Flyers to win they had to dig deep and keep the Penguins on their toes with the help of the home town, orange clad, Philadelphia faithful.
The Flyers came out ripe with aggression with the Flyers' Danny Briere setting the pace for a penalty soaked period between these two rivals on a tripping call at 5:57. The Flyers hard work and aggression paid off with a Joffrey Lupul slap shot at 8:27. Sergei Gonchar started a run of four straight Penguin penalties with a holding call at 9:51 and The Flyers would cash in on the power play opportunity on a Danny Briere wrist shot goal at 11:48.
At 12:51 Kris Letang took a clipping call for the Penguins yet again giving the Flyers another man advantage. At 14:01 Sergei Gonchar and Maxime Talbot for the Penguins, along with Scott Hartnell and Mike Richards for the Flyers, took roughing penalties for an on ice scrum. The Penguins Brooks Orpik rounded off the period’s penalties for roughing at 17:10. Jeff Carter would put the Flyers up 3-0 at Jeff Carter at 18:50. The Flyers led shots on goal with 17 to the Penguins 13.
In a much more balanced second period the teams settled down greatly, mostly due to the fact that the Flyers were protecting the three goal lead. Scottie Upshall opened up the "sin bin" visits with a roughing penalty at 4:42. He was joined by the Penguins Petr Sykora for the same infraction.
The Flyers Jeff Carter sat two minutes for tripping at 14:17. The Penguins Petr Sykora would again get a two minute rest, this time at 18:25 for slashing. The shots at the end of two periods had the Flyers with 26 and the Penguins with 25.
The third period began with the Penguins needing to climb back into the driver’s seat. They came out firing on all cylinders. Both teams came out firing and gave the Philadelphia fans one of the hardest fought periods of the series so far. The Penguins put every puck they could on Flyers goaltender Martin Biron. They drew their first blood of the game at 3:16 on a Jordan Staal backhand shot to end Biron’s shutout. Jordan Staal again lit the lamp for the visitor Penguins at 14:11 on a snap shot goal.
Joffrey Lupul added insurance for the Flyers scoring a wrist shot goal at 19:27 and the only penalty of the period would be called on Scottie Upshall for charging at 19:37. The final shots on goal for the game had the victorious Flyers with 34 to Pittsburgh’s 38. The Flyers avoid elimination with tonight’s win over the Penguins and will now go to Pittsburgh for Game 5.
Game 5 will be in Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 18th at 3pm Eastern time. The Game will be viewable on NBC.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images via Flyers.nhl.com