Game of the Day(1/19): Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Posted: January 20, 2013 by David Phillips in Analysis, Game Summary
Tags: , , , , , , ,

After much anticipation, the NHL season kicked off today. Our game of the day was: The Philadelphia Flyers vs. The Pittsuburgh Penguins.

Last Spring the Flyers ousted Pittsburgh in their high-scoring, first round playoff series, scoring 30 goals in six games. The Pens went into Philadelphia seeking revenge. That is what they got with a 3-1 win.

It seemed as though the Flyers came out with a little too much energy. This caused them to chase the puck early on, giving the Penguins open ice. Chasing the opponent around leads to penalties.

About three minutes into the the game, Sidney Crosby got into a foot-race with Flyers defenseman, Nicklas Grossmann. Crosby’s elite foot work and speed drew a penalty. With Grossmann in the box, the Pens settled in and capitalized, giving them an early 1-0 lead. Late in the power play, Tyler Kennedy deflected a Paul Martin shot over the glove of Ilya Bryzgalov.

Just minutes later, James Neal ripped one by Bryzgalov off of a face-off win by two-time Art Ross winner, Evgeni Malkin. Both goals came from face-off wins.

“That’s a faceoff play we run a lot on that side,” Neal told NHL.com. “Geno [Malkin] did a good job of sticking with it even though he didn’t get it to me right off the initial draw. He kind of battled for it a bit and managed to whack it back to me.”

The Flyers answered 23 seconds into the second period. Scott Hartnell carried the puck down the left wing and sauced a pass through the slot to Giroux, and he slipped it through Fleury’s five-hole to cut the lead in half.

The Flyers continued their surge throughout the second period, but couldn’t beat Marc-Andre Fleury again.

“The Flower” was huge on the penalty kill as he stopped everything that came his way. This was a relief to Penguins fans after seeing him get lit up by Philadelphia in the playoffs.

“He was solid,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “[Philadelphia] is not an easy place to play and they have some dangerous players. He did a great job of hanging in there for us and making some great saves. … He was big for us.”

With an empty-net power play goal, Chris Kunitz iced the cake of a Pittsburgh win.

The Penguins head to New York for today’s game at the Rangers (7 p.m., NHLN-US). The Flyers will be traveling to play the Sabres in Buffalo (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) on today.

Three stars of the game:

#1: J. Neal PIT

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G: 1 SHOTS: 7
A: 0 HITS: 2
PTS: 1 PIM: 0
+/-: 1 TOI: 16:16

#2: C. Giroux PHI

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G: 1 SHOTS: 3
A: 0 HITS: 1
PTS: 1 PIM: 2
+/-: 1 TOI: 19:41

#3: M. Fleury PIT

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· SA: 27 TOI: 60:00
GA: 1 EV: 15-16
PIM: 0 PP: 11-11
SV%: .963

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