The Penguins finished up the regular season with a victory over the Philadelphia Flyers today by a 4-2 margin in front of a record crowd at the CONSOL Energy Center. It was a pretty bland game but there were some milestones hit and the Penguins finally got a win over the Flyers at the CEC.
Obviously the big story coming into the game was what happened last Sunday, specifically with Joe Vitale on a hit with Danny Briere. Well Vitale had to answer the bell, for a clean hit, just two minutes in with a scrap with newly called up Harry Zolnierczyk:
Not really sure you call that a fight. It was more like a domination. Glad that is over.
The Penguins and Flyers traded goals in the first period with the Penguins striking first when Pascal Dupuis extended his points scoring streak to 17 games with a goal only five and a half minutes in. That was his 25th goal of the season and you really can’t say enough about what he has done this year. He has played anywhere from on the top line to the third line and all he does is produce. 25 goals.
Brayden Schenn scored to tie the game at one with only 53 seconds left in the period. The Pens have been giving up a ton of goals in the first and last minute of periods and I hope this stuff stops soon. That being said Schenn has been playing some good hockey lately and if you have a guy like Schenn you want those guys to be turning it on right now because those role players win playoff series.
The one big thing that the Penguins wanted to do today was get Evgeni Malkin a goal and they did just that. It happened in the second period with time running out and it really was a cool thing to see:
This was Malkin’s 50th goal of the season and he becomes only the sixth Russian to score 50 in a season. I think that Malkin is the runaway winner for the MVP this year and it is really deserved. When the Penguins needed someone to carry the team Malkin was there. He did all of that and more. He also missed eight games. What an unreal season.
Chris Kunitz scored another goal. 26 goals this season which is a career high for him. Although he takes some terrible penalties you can’t deny that is he the glue that holds the first line together. He isn’t afraid to get dirty and grind it out and get in front of the net. Every team needs a guy like this.
All Sidney Crosby did was gather two points, again. All he does is have multi point games. He scored a goal:
Unreal patience to wait to let the backhander go. What a goal.
Overall the game was really boring after the second period. The Penguins were up two and neither team wanted any players to get hurt. I guess we should have expected that but I kind of figured that is the way it was going to be. Whatever.
Big shout out to DeeJay’s. Since denying the Flyers ribs for the future they are now 0-1 at the CEC after being 5-0 coming in. Not sure if it really meant anything for the Penguins to finally beat the Flyers at the CEC today but who cares.
Things are going to be unreal for game one which is supposed to open on Wednesday. The official word will come out tomorrow around 1:00 p.m. with the dates for the first round contests.