Penguins-Flyers Game Five: Philippe Boucher Loves Philly Cheese Steaks

WoooooSenior Writer IApril 24, 2009

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 23:  Philippe Boucher #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins collides with Darroll Powe #36 of the Philadelphia Flyers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs  on April 23, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.(Photo By Dave Sandford/ Getty Images)

You hear people talking about "pointing the finger" after a team loses a big game.

Right now, we'd much rather give the finger than point it.

Apparently Kris Letang suffered an injury in Game four and was kept out of the lineup in Game five, tonight—Philippe Boucher replaced him.

Sure, the Pens could have capitalized on one of their four power plays, or found a way to beat Marty Biron, but Boucher's failure to clear the puck out of his own zone before the Giroux goal and his inability to get the puck deep into the Flyers' zone before the Knuble goal sure didn't help.

Bobby Boucher makes those plays with his eyes closed—so, does Kris Letang.

The Pens came out firing in the first period, trying to get an early start on pounding the final nail in the Flyers' coffin.

If there was ever a time the phrase "weathering a storm" applied, it was the first period of this hockey game.

Biron made some big saves, but the Pens' third line kept coming, possessing the puck in the offensive zone and generating solid scoring chances every time they hit the ice.

Tyler Kennedy was coming off of the corner more easily than Lauren Hart on Broad Street, which is no simple task.

Mike Richards got a chance to put the Flyers ahead early in the period, but his initial attempt was thwarted by Fleury, and his second chance sailed wide of the net—what a leader.

Richards teamed up with some other joke to sandwich Sidney Crosby in the corner on the next shift—what a captain.

Crosby responded by exposing Kimmo Timonen as the average defenseman he really is by inside-outing Timonen all the way down the ice, but Toast was there to make the save.

The Flyers got a power play, and their final shot of the period around the nine-minute mark.

The Pens' top line turned in an unreal shift near the end of the period, but neither Chris Kunitz nor Bill Guerin could put one of Crosby's perfectly placed passes past Biron—alliteration 101 in that last sentence.

At the end of the same shift, Crosby beats Bernie Parent to a spot on the ice and draws the penalty. Crosby wins that battle for open ice every time, what a terrible defensive play by Bernie.

The Pens fired five shots on the ensuing power play, and Crosby won four face offs, two of them against Mike Richards—what a penalty killer.

Richards got a shorthanded opportunity near the end of the penalty, but couldn't get a good shot away—what a puck handler.

The period ended, with the Pens carrying the play, and leading on the shot clock by a 15-to-5margin.

Crosby was 6-0 in the face off circle in the first period. Too bad face offs don't win hockey games.

The second period started and…

To some badass hail and a lightning strike in Atlanta, Georgia, FSN lost its' feed for almost the entire second period of the game.

Before the shock wore off and you realized to go turn Mike Lange on the radio, Arron Asham snuck a shot past Fleury to give the Flyers the lead.

Judging by the replay version of the goal, this was a shot Fleury probably should have stopped. Then again, he just stopped 45 of them in the last game, so where is the goal support?

The Pens thought they had found that goal support when Sergei Gonchar fired a puck toward the net and it deflected in off of Malkin's skate.

The play was reviewed and the goal was disallowed, as it was ruled that the puck entered the net as a result of a kicking motion off the foot of Evgeni Malkin.

FSN regained consciousness in the third period, just in time for John Stevens to slip Philippe Boucher a few crisp Benjamin Franklins as he skated past the Flyers' bench.

Boucher responded to the bribe with the weakest attempt at clearing a puck out of the defensive zone in the history of professional hockey.

You can get away with these kinds of plays in Dallas, but this isn’t the Western Conference!

The Flyers made him pay for the mistake as Giroux scored his second goal of the playoffs to make it 2-0 Philly with 16-minutes to go.

The Pens pushed, well kind of, for the next 10-minutes, but it was easy to see that it just wasn't there tonight. Whatever it is, the Penguins didn't have it.

Boucher handed the Flyers another insurance goal around the 13-minute mark when he pinched a few feet inside the blue line to hold the puck in the Flyers' zone, but instead of banging it deep, he halfheartedly chipped it down the boards, where Matt Carle quickly turned it the other way.

Knuble picked up the garbage, but Richards started the play by firing a hard shot to the leg pads of Fleury, looking to create a rebound. What a human.

That was it. The Pens threw their weight around late in the game and took a couple of penalties out of frustration.

Fleury should not be faulted in any way shape or form for this loss. If you think Fleury had anything to do with the outcome of this game, kill yourself.

Biron turned aside all 28 shots he faced to pick up the shutout.

You don't get a shutout in an NHL playoff game if you aren't playing some good hockey, but bulletproof vests have been more agile while stopping shots than Biron had to be tonight.

Flyer fans will claim they are "back in the series" after this win, just as they did after their victory in Game three.

Penguin fans will claim they only need to win one out of two games while the Flyers need to win two out of two.

Some people will claim that Mike Richards is not a great leader and captain. Those people are pathetic excuses for competent human beings and should be ashamed of them.

Whatever claim you make, your claim, like mine, means absolutely nothing.

The only thing that matters now is when these two teams hit the ice on Saturday afternoon at the Wajokeia Center to play Game six of this series.

Until then: Let's Go Pens!


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