Sunday, April 5, 2015

Now or Never!

By: MF,

Things are not looking good for the Pittsburgh Penguins right now. They have been unable get further the distance between them and other playoff hunting teams. The Ottawa Senators have pulled within three points of the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers will look to push them further into the abyss. Today in Philadelphia, the Penguins have come out with a fire under their butts and get those precious two points. Five is the magic number to clinch a playoff berth. They go into this game with a 11-3-2 record in their last 16 games at Philadelphia, dating back to January 13, 2009. Also, the Penguins are only one win shy of 20 road wins for the eighth consecutive season (excluding the shortened season).

The woes continue for the Penguins and it starts with the offense. Yesterday's game started out promising and Sidney Crosby was flying throughout the game. Crosby leads the National Hockey League (NHL) in points with 81. He is second on the team with 27 goals and is riding a five game point streak (three goals and four assists). Crosby also has 31 career goals against the Flyers, which is his most versus any NHL team. Things will be a bit easier for our Captain, as Evgeni Malkin will be back in the lineup and he is a much needed guy. Though the rest of the forwards/lines must step up and help out the two star players. Patric Hornqvist has 15 points (nine goals and six assists) over his last 15 games. Brandon Sutter has reached the 30 point mark, this season (18 goals and 12 assists), for just the third time of his career. Nick Spaling has 130 hits, which is more than triple his previous career high of 43 in 2011-12. The offense will have to step up their game and put even more points on the board. It's crunch time!

In addition, the defense has not had the best of luck. Down two big guys in Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff. That doesn't mean they can slack off at any time. Last game, Derrick Pouliot was having a rough one. He was on the ice for four of the goals and didn't help the situation on the ice. Look for him to have a big game and turn things around! Ben Lovejoy has been getting big minutes lately and he scored his first goal, since rejoining the Penguins. Another new addition, Ian Cole ranks second on the team with five points (one goal and four assists) since March 26th.

Injury update: Steve Downie will not play, due to an upper body injury.

This is a monstrous game for the Penguins and they have to play with some passion! Time to bring out the reserves and take it to the Flyers! Lets Go Pens!

Perron, Crosby, Hornqvist
Kunitz, Malkin, Comeau
Winnik, Sutter, Bennett
Spaling, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Pouliot
Cole, Chorney

Greiss in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 1 Flyers 4

3rd Period
0:00- The Flyers end up with the 4-1 win. The Pens will have to search their hearts and come out a different team on Tuesday. It's not over yet, but they have to change it up.

0:09- Del Zotto scores on the power-play. Del Zotto comes in unchallenged and puts it through the five-hole. 4-1 Flyers.

0:38- Regular Flyers power-play.

0:43- Hornqvist joins Bennett for goalie interference. 5 on 3 power-play

0:51- Empty net for the Pens

2:38- A nice way to end this game as Bennett goes off for goalie interference.

2:46- Turnovers are the death of teams.

4:55- White Scores. The Pens don't clear the puck and it bounces around in their zone. White beats Greiss. 3-1 Flyers.

7:23- Comeau holds the puck and draws out Mason. He puts the puck through the blue paint and over to Malkin. He has a wide open net, but it goes off the post.

10:19- The Flyers have had a few chances on their past few rushes.

12:20- Both teams are back to full strength.

14:20- Bennett gets a tripping penalty. Kunitz rifles one off the post for a touch up call. Voracek jumps him and disagreements happen. Voracek gets a 10-minute misconduct and Giroux goes for roughing. 4 on 4 hockey.

15:58- Turnover and B. Schenn goes the other way. He is one-on-one with Pouliot and stickhandles around him. Greiss comes up with the save.

20:00- The third period is underway! The Pens HAVE to turn things around, be disciplined and get traffic in front of Mason! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the Flyers have the 2-1 lead.

0:13- Spaling gets a slight breakaway, but fires it over the net.

1:51- Kunitz with a hard shot that is directed into the netting.

3:54- Too many turnovers for the Pens right now and Mason is coming up big. The Pens have to keep pushing.

7:40- B. Schenn scores on the power-play. B. Schenn directs the puck to the net and it pops up. It goes right over Greiss and into the net. 2-1 Flyers.

7:58- Comeau is called for hooking and the Pens bring out their penalty kill unit. Not a good thing for the Pens, they must hold them off.

8:15- Greiss holds off a wrap-around chance.

9:57- Giroux fires a wrister high over the glove side of Greiss.

10:08- The Pens power-play is killed.

12:08- The Flyers get two great scoring chances on net, but the Pens end up with a power-play opportunity. Streit sits for interference.

14:54- Cole had a great shift and it wasn't an easy one.

17:21- Malkin just pushes the puck wide of the net! Great work on the forecheck by the second line of the Pens.

18:14- The Flyers come out with more jump in their step. The Pens have to match their first period effort.

19:23- Del Zotto fires one off the goal post.

20:00- Time for the second period! The Pens have to stay on track and not engage the Flyers in extra activities! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and this game is tied at 1-1.

0:39- Voracek Scores on the power-play. Voracek just snaps a one-timer right past the blocker of Greiss. 1-1 tie game.

1:29- Winnik goes to the box for cross-checking and the Flyers get a power-play chance.

1:40- Sutter is denied twice by Mason! Unreal chance by Sutter!

3:35- SUTTER SCORES ON THE POWER-PLAY! Perron passes up to Sutter at the side of the net! Sutter fires a hard shot that goes under the down goal stick of Mason, into the net! 1-0 Pens!

4:25- Hornqvist camps in front of Mason and creates havoc. Pouliot just can't jam home the loose puck. Nice job on the power-play.

5:24- Kunitz tips the puck up to Comeau, who goes right to the net. Mason saves, but Raffl heads to the box for hooking. Pens to the power-play.

5:59- Shots are 12-2 in favor the Pens. They have come out with some vigor and look good. They need to sustain this type of play.

7:35- Bennett puts the puck at the toe of Mason. Sutter and Winnik crash the net.

8:40- Our Captain is back on the ice. The Pens are outshooting the Flyers 8-1.

9:08- Crosby looks to be ok on the bench now.

10:37- Perron and Hornqvist are tripped up in front by Mason. Crosby goes to the bench and is having his arm looked at.

14:09- Spaling battles and gets the puck towards the net. Adams finds the rebound, but his backhanded is gloved up by Mason.

16:33- Malkin snaps a pass across ice to Perron and his shot is stopped by Mason.

17:38- Sutter pushes the puck wide in front!

20:00- Here we go! The Pens have to come out with a fire and play with some passion! Lets Go Pens! 

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