ShareThis Page
Penguins

Penguins' fortunes reversed in Game 2 loss to Flyers

Jonathan Bombulie
| Friday, April 13, 2018, 7:58 p.m.
The Flyers' Nolan Patrick celebrates Shayne Gostisbehere's goal against the Penguins in the first period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Flyers' Nolan Patrick celebrates Shayne Gostisbehere's goal against the Penguins in the first period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins' Bryan Rust can't control a rebound in front of Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott in the first period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Bryan Rust can't control a rebound in front of Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott in the first period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Flyers celebrate Shayne Gostisbehere's power-play goal against the Penguins in the first period.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Flyers celebrate Shayne Gostisbehere's power-play goal against the Penguins in the first period.
Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott covers the puck before the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin can pounce on it in the first period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott covers the puck before the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin can pounce on it in the first period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Flyers' Michael Raffl celebrates with Sean Couturier after Couturier's goal against the Penguins in the second period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Flyers' Michael Raffl celebrates with Sean Couturier after Couturier's goal against the Penguins in the second period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes the initial save on the Flyers' Sean Couturier in the second period but the puck bounced off Kris Letang and behind Matt Murray Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes the initial save on the Flyers' Sean Couturier in the second period but the puck bounced off Kris Letang and behind Matt Murray Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes the initial save on the Flyers' Sean Couturier in the second period but the puck bounced off Kris Letang and behind Matt Murray Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes the initial save on the Flyers' Sean Couturier in the second period but the puck bounced off Kris Letang and behind Matt Murray Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes the initial save on the Flyers' Sean Couturier in the second period but the puck bounced off Kris Letang and behind Matt Murray on Friday during Game 2 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series April 13, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes the initial save on the Flyers' Sean Couturier in the second period but the puck bounced off Kris Letang and behind Matt Murray on Friday during Game 2 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series April 13, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins’ Kris Letang heads to the locker room for medical treatment after colliding with a Flyer during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Kris Letang heads to the locker room for medical treatment after colliding with a Flyer during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby moves the puck towards goal during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby moves the puck towards goal during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Flyers' goaltender Brian Elliott makes a save of the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Flyers' goaltender Brian Elliott makes a save of the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Phil Kessel moves the puck during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Phil Kessel moves the puck during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Jamie Oleksiak checks Flyers' Michael Raffl during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Jamie Oleksiak checks Flyers' Michael Raffl during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins' Patric Hornqvist goes at it with the Flyers' Nolan Patrick in the second period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Patric Hornqvist goes at it with the Flyers' Nolan Patrick in the second period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin moves the puck towards goal against Flyers' Jori Lehtera during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin moves the puck towards goal against Flyers' Jori Lehtera during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Flyers' Nolan Patrick's shot beats Penguins goaltender Matt Murray in the third period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Flyers' Nolan Patrick's shot beats Penguins goaltender Matt Murray in the third period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Flyers' Travis Konecny gets air born after beating Penguins goaltender Matt Murray in the third period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Flyers' Travis Konecny gets air born after beating Penguins goaltender Matt Murray in the third period Friday during round one game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs April 13, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist tussles with Flyers' Nolan Patrick during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist tussles with Flyers' Nolan Patrick during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist scores the penguins' lone goal of the night during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist scores the penguins' lone goal of the night during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Olli Maatta pursues they Flyers' Claude Giroux during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Olli Maatta pursues they Flyers' Claude Giroux during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Bryan Rust collides with the Flyers' Ivan Provorov during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Bryan Rust collides with the Flyers' Ivan Provorov during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Tom Kuhnhackl moves the puck towards goal during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Tom Kuhnhackl moves the puck towards goal during their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Matt Murray readies himself prior to puck drop of their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Matt Murray readies himself prior to puck drop of their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby skates prior to puck drop of their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby skates prior to puck drop of their second game of the Stanley Cup Playoff inside of PPG Paints Arena on April 13, 2018.

Kris Letang spent a lot of the series opener between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers prowling the offensive zone or hugging teammates to celebrate goals.

He spent much of Game 2 on Friday night trying to keep pinballing pucks out of his own net or getting medical attention in the locker room after a violent collision with Claude Giroux.

Welcome to the playoffs, where glorious highs often are followed by gut-wrenching lows.

Sean Couturier had a goal and two assists, and goalie Brian Elliott turned in a 34-save bounce-back effort, leading the Flyers to a 5-1 victory in Game 2 of the first-round series Friday night.

The series, tied 1-1, will continue Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

“We knew it was not going to be easy,” Letang said.

In terms of controlling possession and dictating play, the Penguins were probably more dominant in Game 2 than they were in a 7-0 victory in Game 1. They outshot the Flyers, 35-20, and racked up a 37-19 advantage in even-strength shot attempts.

When it came to finishing, though, it was a complete reversal of fortune.

The Penguins hit three posts and a crossbar. Sidney Crosby was stopped by Elliott on a breakaway and misfired on a slam-dunk at the right post off a cross-ice pass from Phil Kessel on the power play.

By the time Patric Hornqvist broke up Elliott's shutout bid in the third period, the Flyers already had a four-goal lead.

“It wasn't from a lack of opportunities,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “We just couldn't seem to find the back of the net.”

The Flyers, meanwhile, took a 2-0 lead into the third period after two pucks ricocheted their way past goalie Matt Murray, who made 15 saves on the night.

The first came on a Shayne Gostisbehere power-play point shot in the final minute of the first that bounced through traffic and trickled between Murray's pads.

The second came when a Couturier shot from the right side hit Murray's left pad, popped up into the air and banked in off Letang's body in the first minute of the second.

“It was going to go in the corner, but it hit my elbow and my helmet and went in,” Letang said. “Just a bad bounce, you know?”

When Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick tacked on goals in the first six minutes of the third period to give the Flyers a 4-0 lead, the Flyers had made a statement and their coach had been vindicated.

Dave Hakstol didn't make a single change to his lineup after the Game 1 loss and was rewarded for staying the course.

“Nobody's really giving us a serious chance in this series. I don't know if anyone still will,” Hakstol said. “But I know this: We just got it down to a five-game series. We introduced ourselves into this series tonight.”

The violent hit on Letang came seven minutes into the second period. Giroux bumped into Crosby, which jarred the Flyers captain. He backed right into Letang, delivering a crushing blow with his backside.

Letang went to the locker room but returned by the start of the third period. He wouldn't say whether he went through concussion protocol.

“I just came and had a little chat,” Letang said. “I felt good enough to come back, so I was fine.”

Letang said he had no opinion of the hit because he didn't see it coming. Crosby was more demonstrative.

“I thought he hit him high,” Crosby said. “I'm sure the league will look at it, but I thought it was a pretty high hit.”

Giroux called it an accident.

“I just tried to brace myself,” he said. “It was really fast. I'm glad it worked out that he came back.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me