A pretty tame contest all together but it ended the right way as the Penguins brought home a 4-1 victory that improved them to 6-1-0 on the season while the Penguins dropped the Flyers to 1-7-0 on a season that is quickly becoming a free fall. That free fall is pretty fun to watch.
Anyways, this was a relatively tight game through the first as the Penguins got a few early power plays and had some really outstanding looks but Steve Mason actually came to play and kept the Penguins off the board. The Pens had a few decent looks at the net but really didn't get too much in terms of even strength chances. The Flyers didn't build much pressure as they only had eight shots on goal in the first.
The Penguins got on the board about midway through the game when the Flyers basically begged them to score a goal. There was two or three turnovers at the Flyers blue line and Evgeni Malkin made them pay by finding Jussi Jokinen for his fourth of the year. Chris Kunitz got on the board less than three minutes later and you just kinda got the feeling that this one was over. The Flyers managed only five shots on goal in the second period, but made the fifth shot count. While on the power play Wayne Simmonds scored with only two seconds left in the period and made it interesting.
The Penguins tried to give as many chances to the Flyers as they could. Early in the third period the Penguins took a pair of penalties in the first four minutes but Marc-Andre Fleury was really good (and good all night) and that gave the Penguins enough time to salt the game away and eventually use a Sidney Crosby goal with a couple of minutes left to end it.
As I said MAF was very good tonight. He had a little bit of a letdown game against Tampa Bay but for the other five games of the season he has been as good as anyone. The defense played pretty well but as some teams can contest you can have a good defense but if the goaltender is giving up softies then games like last night turn into losses rather than wins.
Crosby and Malkin were outstanding. The Flyers became short handed with the loss of Kimmo Timonen midway through the game but even with him in the game the Crosby line was creating chances all day and Malkin was gliding through the zone with his superior puck handling. The Flyers are bad and the Penguins were able to take care of them. Always nice to put the Flyers in their place.
Vancouver tomorrow (Saturday).