Coming into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Penguins hoped to end the Flyers surge back into the series. There would be no Dallas Stars-like heroics and last gasps of air to climb back into the series. No, Sidney Crosby and company would step up and send the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Finals, completing one of the biggest turn around stories of the year.
The Penguins would set the tone right off the bat on a power play goal scored by Ryan Malone assisted Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa. The power play stemmed from a Mike Knuble hooking call at 2:18 on the Flyers. Without allowing too much time to pass, Evgani Malkin showed his dominance over the Flyers goaltender, Martin Biron, on a wrist shot goal at 9:50 assisted by Ryan Malone.
The remainder of the stats sheet for the first would be filled with penalties. The Flyers Scott Hartnell took a tripping penalty at 11:15. The Penguins took two consecutive penalties to close out the first frame with a Ryan Whitney hooking penalty at 17:42 and Ryan Malone took a high sticking penalty at the buzzer.
The second period only added salt to the wound that had been opened in the first period. The Penguins Marian Hossa scored a snap shot goal at 8:24 assisted by Sidney Crosby and Maxime Talbot.
The Flyers R.J. Umberger would inspire slight revenge with a roughing penalty at 9:02. The Penguins would also take two matching penalties at 9:02 to match Umberger’s, Evgani Malkin and Hal Gill would both receive roughing penalties.
Kimmo Timonen took a tripping penalty at 9:08 and the Penguins increased their lead to 4-0 with a Ryan Malone power play goal on a tip in with assists from Sergei Gonchar and Marian Hossa. The Flyers clearly didn't learn from their short-handed mistakes as Jeff Carter took a tripping call at 11:28.
The Penguins ended the period on a Jordan Staal backhand goal at 19:02, assists coming from Maxime Talbot and Adam Hall. Only one period remaining in this brutal game, left fans only hoping the Penguins would put the Flyers out of their misery without too much pain to the orange and black.
With the game already out of reach, Marian Hossa increased the one sided score to 6-0 on a wrist shot goal at 4:03. Pascal Dupuis and Brooks Orpik assisted. At this point, if it were not for writing a game recap, I would have shut the game off. The score was brutal and Marty Biron was basically useless to stopping Penguins pucks from winding up in the net.
At 9:45 of the third period, the Igloo faithful began the “hey, hey, hey, good-bye" chant. Normally I would consider this rude, but since they’re rivals, I'll let them have their fun. Adam Hall finished his game with a hooking penalty at 18:20.
With the remaining time dwindling low on the Flyers season, the Penguins fans erupted with cheers for their team. Marc-Andre Fleury finished the game turning aside all 19 shots. Martin Biron would face a total of 25 and make 19 saves.
Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on winning the Prince of Wales Trophy and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. Congratulations also go to the Philadelphia Flyers for a hard fought series and a very successful year.
1. Ryan Malone (LW) - Pittsburgh - 2 Goals, 1 Assists, 3 Points
2. Marian Hossa (RW) - Pittsburgh - 1 Goals, 3 Assists, 4 Points
3. Marc-Andre Fleury (G) - Pittsburgh - 21 Saves > Shutout vs. Philadelphia
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via penguins.nhl.com