Pens drop heartbreaker to Flyers, 6-5
Lesson learned? Apparently not.
The Penguins have displayed a responsible style throughout most of this season, but old habits — and an old nemesis — beat them Wednesday.
In a game reminiscent of last season's playoff series, Philadelphia fell behind early before taking advantage of Penguins' mistakes in a 6-5 thriller at Consol Energy Center.
“It was entertaining for the fans,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said of the wide-open affair. “But I don't think it's conducive to winning.”
Philadelphia is 6-1 all-time at Consol Energy Center and, including the postseason, 8-2 in the Penguins' new home.
Jakub Voracek scored the game-winner with 1:31 remaining, banking a shot off goalie Tomas Vokoun to finish off a hat trick. Penguins center Brandon Sutter had evened the game 32 seconds earlier.
The Penguins played the kind of game that haunted them in the past against the Flyers.
The Penguins fell to the Flyers in six surreal playoff games last spring, allowing 30 goals. That series left an impression on the Penguins, who have said emphatically that they must play a more controlled, conservative game.
They had through the first month.
Then, the Flyers came to town.
“It was crazy,” right wing Craig Adams said. “It felt like the playoffs. Those are the types of games we're trying to stay away from.”
The Flyers scored in bunches and irritated the Penguins, themes that remained consistent from last season's playoffs. Instead of clamping down with the lead, the Penguins engaged in up-tempo hockey and often hit back after Philadelphia initiated fisticuffs.
Although the Penguins took a 2-0 lead, Nicklass Grossmann and Wayne Simmonds scored within 60 seconds of each other in the first period to even the score. Voracek then scored twice in a 28-second span to put the Flyers ahead early in the third period.
The up-and-down nature isn't what the Penguins wanted.
“Look at the teams that had success in the playoffs last year,” Orpik said. “They played the exact opposite.”
James Neal pulled the Penguins within a goal with 7:14 remaining, and then after Chris Kunitz's goal was disallowed because it was kicked in, Brandon Sutter brought the Consol Energy Center crowd to its feet with the game-tying goal with 2:03 remaining.
Still, the Flyers remained unfazed.
“Just a weird game,” Adams said.
After goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made a spectacular save on Matt Cooke, the Flyers raced into Penguins' territory and produced the game-winner when Voracek banked a shot off Vokoun.
“He just shot it from behind the net, and I knocked it in my own net,” Vokoun said. “That's tough. Our guys battled hard, tied the game. And then, a goal goes in like that. That's a back-breaker. Sometimes, that's just the way hockey is.”
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was disappointed with his team's lack of composure. The Penguins were short-handed six times.
“I think we got too emotional,” he said. “Too involved in extracurriculars. It took away from the game.”
The Penguins fell into the Flyers' trap. Again.
“I don't know how many times you can address it,” Orpik said. “We know how they like to play. We know they like to target certain guys on our team. Zac Rinaldo goes off with (Kris Letang). I think that's a pretty good trade-off for them. I don't know if you can address it anymore. Talking about it doesn't do you any good if you go out and do the opposite.”
Show commenting policy
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.
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime
- Penguins star Crosby talks about his experience with mumps
- Penguins notebook: Zatkoff returns to team as Fleury’s backup
- ‘Rash of sickness’ hits Crosby, Penguins
- With 3 more players possibly affected, Pens’ mumps fight escalates
- Penguins continue to thrive, despite spate of ailments
- Despres leads Penguins over Flames with offense, hitting
- Blue Jackets prevail over Penguins in shootout
- Penguins’ Maatta to seek second opinion for shoulder
- Penguins defenseman Letang having best season in new system