by Nat Marlowe
The Philadelphia Flyers scored 5 goals in their victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. After a 6-3 win over their most notorious divisional rival Wednesday night, the Flyers defeated the Penguins again in the second game of their season, but not without getting a bit bruised up.
In the opening minutes of the first period, the Penguins brought a much more physical game than they did Wednesday night, checking the Flyers left and right. After what looked like a minor hit from Penguins forward Jared McCann, Sean Couturier left the game after just two shifts and playing a total of forty-five seconds. Couturier had an MRI on Saturday and will be out a minimum of two weeks with a Costochondral separation.
Without their Selke Trophy winner, the Flyers stepped up on the powerplay once again, as Konecny scored his first goal of the season right in the blue paint, getting the puck past Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Voracek sent a great cross ice pass, zipping the puck past Penguins defenseman Brian Doumolin for Konecny to put in a wide open net at the 7:27 mark. Konecny would score his second goal two minutes later as he hustled to the blue paint again fighting through scramble of Penguins players who failed to help Jarry. Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov would then score his first of the season jumping the Flyers to an early 3-0 lead.
After the Penguins replaced Jarry with Casey DeSmith, they fought right back as Sidney Crosby and Brandon Tanev scored just 32 seconds apart at the 12:59 and 13:31 marks of the first. With Pittsburgh back in the game, the Flyers had trouble generating any offense through the rest of the first and the entirety of the second. However Flyers goaltender Carter Hart bailed the team out, shutting down the Penguins’ optimal scoring opportunities, including a fantastic stick save on forward Jake Guentzel.
With Hart holding the Flyers’ lead into the third, Konecny would score once again in the blue paint coming off the rush, as the puck bounced off his skate and into the net at the 12:53 mark of the third. Flyers mascot Gritty threw a lone hat onto the ice in celebration of Konecny’s first career NHL hat trick. In the waning minutes of the game after DeSmith was pulled from his net, Lindblom broke out of the Flyers zone, breaking away with ease to put the puck in the empty net, sealing the deal for back-to-back Flyers victories. Carter Hart stopped 31 out of 33 shots, while the Flyers only had 20 shots on goal in their 5-2 victory over the Penguins. It is the first time the Flyers have won their first two games in consecutive seasons since the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 NHL seasons.
The Flyers will play their next couple of games this Monday and Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center. You can listen to both of those games on 97.5 The Fanatic.