The Penguins were hoping that the return of Petr Sykora to their lineup would spark their offense.
However, Pittsburgh got goals from other unlikely sources—namely Brooks Orpik, Mike Zigomanis, and Pascal Dupuis—to edge the Flyers 3-2 in overtime.
Pascal Dupuis scored the game-winning goal with 11 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory over their bitter rivals from Philadelphia.
This game wasn't an Eastern Conference Finals matchup, which meant that the Flyers had a chance to win.
Antero Nittyjokei got the start in goal for Philly, while Marc-Andre Fleury minded the net for the Pens.
Early in the first period, Miroslav Satan almost proved that he can play effectively alongside Sidney Crosby, when he attempted to whack a puck home at the right of the crease. Nittymaki denied both attempts.
At the other end of the ice, Debby Briere had his name momentarily removed from the missing-person list when he got a good scoring chance in front of Fleury. Fleury thwarted the attempt and kept the game scoreless.
Minutes later Eric Godard and Riley Cote dropped the mitts. This was by far one of the best hockey fights I'd ever seen, with both combatants landing their fair share of big blows. Cote is used to big blowing, but that's another storyline entirely.
After the fight, Sidney Crosby drew a penalty on Vaananen, and the ensuing Penguins' power play ultimately killed all their momentum.
A scrum developed in front of the Flyers' net and Philly captain Mike Bitchards decided to take the liberty of punching Ruslan Fedotenko in the head while Fedotenko was pinned beneath Bitchards in a pileup. Bitchards received two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, whined to the official for 20 minutes, and was then locked up in the sin bin.
The end of the first period came with 27 combined hits between the two teams, but no score.
For every boring moment of the first period, the second period offered an exciting one.
Early in the period, the Pens' top unit had five consecutive scoring chances, but failed to capitalize on any of them. Once again, the momentum was silenced by the officials' evil plot to give the Penguins multiple power plays.
After the Pens' power play ceased to exist once again, the Flyers wound up with a two-man advantage.
The Penguins used an array of penalty killers to kill off both penalties, thanks in large part to some nifty work in the crease by Fleury and Rob Scuderi. Deep down inside, Scuderi has always wanted to be a goaltender. Watch your back, Dany Sabourin.
After the penalty kills, the Penguins had all the momentum. Evgeni Malkin blew a slap shot past Nittyjokei, but it rang off the post. Petr Sykora had a glorious chance in the high slot, but missed the net with his wrist shot.
The Pens wound up on the power play once again, and Brooks Orpik shocked the world by wristing a shot toward the net that somehow beat Nittyjokei—thanks in part to a good screen in front from Tyler Kennedy. 1-0, Pens.
42 seconds later, Matt Cooke changed the pace of the game. Cooke flew into the offensive zone, crashed into a Flyer behind Nittymaki, and forced a turnover. Cooke scooped up the loose puck and fed a perfect pass into the slot—where the newest Penguin, Mike Zigomanis was patiently waiting to bury the puck. 2-0, Pens.
Just when it looked like the Pens would carry a two-goal lead into the second intermission, Jeff Carter was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce off of Hal Gill's stick, which beat Fleury to pull the score to 2-1, Pens.
Similar to the Penguins' two quick goals, the Flyers struck again just 21 seconds later. Simon Gagne redirected Kimmo "I'm definitely in Bobby Orr's league" Timonen's slap shot from the point past Fleury to even the score at two before the break.
The third period was heated, as each team tried to break the deadlock. Each team had two power-play opportunities, but Fleury and Nittymaki each did their part to force overtime.
The Flyers dominated the overtime period for the most part, keeping the puck in the Penguins' zone for at least half of the period.
Finally the Pens caught a break with under 15 seconds left to play. Brooks Orpik whipped a hard pass from blue line to blue line, right onto the tape of Pascal Dupuis. Dupuis took the pass in stride, hesitated for a moment, then let go a hard slap shot that beat Nittyjokei on the glove side to give the Penguins the 3-2 victory.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 3 Philthydelphia 2
The Penguins' penalty killing has been stellar in every game this season, barring game two of the Eurotrip against the Senators.
Sidney Crosby was held without a point again, and has failed to score a goal in the Penguins' four games thus far this season. Perhaps the fact that his next goal will be number 100 of his career has something to do with it—but that's just the Crosby fan in me talking.
Evgeni Malkin had another outstanding game, although the score sheet won't show it. Malkin does things with the puck that even your Playstation 3 wouldn't dream of doing.
Alex Goligoski looked solid on the blue line tonight, especially on the power play. Golo made several Gonchar-esque plays, holding the puck in the zone at the blue line. He has the early makings of developing into a solid offensive defenseman in this league.
Darryl Sydor was a healty scratch tonight, after playing on the fourth-line left wing in the Pens' previous game against the Devils.
Fleury looked good again. The two goals he gave up can't be credited as his fault.
Mike Richards looked far removed from his dominant playoff form tonight. Punching Fedotenko in the head probably didn't earn him many brownie points with anyone outside of Philthydelphia either.
The Pens will resume action on Thursday night, when they host Alex Ovechkin and the red-hot Washington Capitals' offense.
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