Pittsburgh takes control of series 3-0 after game #3 win
Penguins win @ Philladelphia 4-1
Game 3 – Pittsburgh Penguins 4 – Philadelphia Flyers 1
For the first time all season, Pittsburgh won in the city of Philadelphia and the Pens are now a single win away from playing in the Stanley Cups Finals. Marc-Andre Fleury continued his stellar play for his 11th win of these playoffs, to his one loss. Flyers goalie, Martin Biron has led his team this far and seems to have run out of gas. Just like Dallas, Philadelphia is in too deep of a hole to get of, both trailing in their series 3 games to 0.
Unlike Game #2, there was only one goal scored on the man advantage in Game #3, by Ryan Whitney at the 5:03 mark of the first period. Shortly after, Pittsburgh then took a 2-0 lead thanks to Marian Hossa’s stick, assisted by Sidney Crosby. Before the period was over, R.J. Umberger cut the deficit to one, with his tenth goal of the playoffs with 9 minutes left in the period.
The second period was full of action, going back and forth but the Flyers only managed 3 shots on net with neither team scoring. In the final frame, Ryan Malone gave the Pens insurance 9:58 into the period with a goal assisted by Petr Sykora and Evgeni Malkin. Now with the game 3-1, Philly had no choice to attack for their lives, but nothing came out of it. With the game already close to over, Hossa popped in his second of game to confirm the 4-1 win for the Penguins.
Game #3 saw only 6 penalties, which is close to 47 less than the amount in Game #2. Both teams learned quickly the consequences of giving the opposition the man advantage. The Flyers are in a must win situation for the rest of this series but there is no chance in any world, that they will win 4 in a row against the Penguins.
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Here are the key factors in this series as stated in our 2008 Eastern Conference finals preview:
Both Malkin and Danny Briere came out of Game #3 with an assist and 17 minutes of ice time. They have been shutdown pretty well; Briere did not even register a shot on net while Malkin has been shadowed intensely after his 3-point performance in Game #1.
Fleury’s play has not improved as the playoffs have gone on, but unlike Biron, he has not got worse. Biron squeezed victories to win the Montreal series and has yet to play the at the same level as Fleury.
Kimmo Timonen (blood clot) is out for the playoffs and Braydon Coburn missed Game #3 because of the 50 stitches he has in head after taking a puck in the face. Rookie Ryan Parent took the spot of Coburn and played surprisingly well. Overall, both Timonen and Coburn are missed dearly with the Flyers standing no chance in this series without them.
With a win on Thursday night, the Penguins have an opportunity to go to the finals for the first time since 1992, which was also the last time they held the Stanley Cup. Somehow, someway, Philadelphia has to get more odd man rushes to provide more scoring chances. Game plans are out the door for the Flyers, who only have one thing on mind; win by any means necessary.
Pittsburgh leads series 3-0.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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