Sidney Crosby, Penguins Dominate Flyers to Take 3-1 Series Lead

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2018

Pittsburgh Penguins' Captain Sidney Croisby before the start of a first round NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Tom Mihalek/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Penguins remain unstoppable.

Five different players, including Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, scored goals as the Penguins pushed the Philadelphia Flyers to the brink of elimination with a 5-0 win in Game 4 on Wednesday. Pittsburgh now holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Following the blueprint they've used throughout the series, the Penguins attacked early and often to overwhelm Philly's weak defense and goaltending. Malkin lit the lamp less than five minutes into the game, and Phil Kessel added another 10 minutes later to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead by the first intermission.

Kris Letang added another in the second period to chase Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, and Crosby and Riley Sheahan each got goals off of Michal Neuvirth.

Following the blueprint they've used throughout the series, the Penguins attacked early and often to overwhelm Philly's weak defense and goaltending. Malkin lit the lamp less than five minutes into the game, and Phil Kessel added another 10 minutes later to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead by the first intermission.

Kris Letang added another in the second period to chase Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, and Crosby and Riley Sheahan each got goals off of Michal Neuvirth.

Crosby's goal gave him 173 points for his postseason career, passing Mario Lemieux for the most in franchise history. He's already scored five goals in this series alone, putting him well on pace to outscore his efforts from each of Pittsburgh's last two title runs. 

The Penguins have played the Flyers eight times this season and have scored at least five goals in seven of those contests. They've outscored Philly by 12 goals over the course of the series despite losing 5-1 in Game 2.

Matt Murray recorded 26 saves, recording his second shutout of the series. Murray has been spectacular in Pittsburgh's three wins and remains a postseason juggernaut.

Though it was unlikely to matter, the Flyers were without Sean Couturier, who was injured in Tuesday's practice. Couturier was third on the Flyers with 76 points during the regular season.

"You don’t like to see that," Philadelphia team captain Claude Giroux told reporters. "Coots is playing 28 minutes a night for us right now. He’s a big piece to our team."

The Penguins were also playing without Patric Hornqvist, who sat out due to an injury.

Pittsburgh will look to close the series out at home Friday night. 

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