Maxime Talbot gets the GW for Pittsburgh's 2-0 series lead
Penguins top Flyers again as series moves to Philly
Game 2 – Pittsburgh Penguins 4 – Philadelphia Flyers 2
Special teams were responsible for the first 4 goals of the game, both power play and short handed. Philadelphia finally outplayed their opponent, which has not happened since Game #1 against the Montreal Canadiens, but like that game, Philly failed to win. Pittsburgh’s fourth line scored the game-winner that led to a 4-2 victory and a 2-0 series lead as the Pens are now 10-1 in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Game #2 started off with bang as two light-middle weights, Tyler Kennedy and Scottie Upshall, got into a good tilt 3:29 into the game. This game was full of penalties and chippy play that lead to far too many power plays for a playoff game. The first period only saw Sidney Crosby score a PP goal off a Flyer defender from 1 of Sergei Gonchar’s 3 assists of the game. Jeff Carter tied the game at the 5:46 mark of the second and than Marian Hossa scored for Pittsburgh, both on the PP, to regain the 1 goal lead. On the Penguins next man advantage, Mike Richard’s sprinted on a breakaway and finished a beautiful short handed goal to again, tie the game for Flyers with 24 seconds left in the second period.
The members of the fourth line for the Pens were the unlikely heroes, when they all worked together to net the eventual game-winner. Georges Laraque pushed the puck into the corner of the Flyers’ zone, when veteran Gary Roberts make an immaculate blind pass to Maxime Talbot in the slot. His one timer at the 8:51 point of the third period finished Philly for the night to give Pittsburgh the 2-0 series lead. For good measure, Jordan Staal added the empty net goal on which Gonchar got his third point of the game.
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Here are the key factors in this series as stated in our 2008 Eastern Conference finals preview:
Evgeni Malkin was kept at bay by the intense defense of Philadelphia. He finished without a point and a -1 plus/minus. However, the attention Malkin attracted in Game #2 did leave Crosby enough room to manage 2 points. Danny Briere has been as good as useless after the first round against the Capitals. Brooks Orpik and Jarkko Ruutu are doing an excellent job preventing him from breathing.
Both goalies played great in this game. Marc-Andre Fleury went 30 for 32, while Martin Biron made 34 of 37 saves. Fleury has really improved on controlling his rebounds and his mentality is maturing.
Philadelphia’s defense was already short of Kimmo Timonen and then they lost Braydon Coburn a minute into Game #2. Coburn got hit in the face with a puck that left a trail of blood as he left the ice. The Flyers defensemen are getting weaker and weaker against the talented Pens.
Pittsburgh did their job by winning both home games, now Philadelphia must do the same or this series will be over in a sweep. Watching the game, I did feel like the referees did favor the Pens. Punishing Crosby led to penalties, while punishing Briere led to pain. Either way, the Penguins are too fast for the Philly defense.
Game #3 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh leads series 2-0.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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