Crosby, Penguins knock off Flyers again
PHILADELPHIA — The Penguins struggling power play finally came to life in Philadelphia.
Sidney Crosby, meanwhile, is always alive and well when the Penguins and Flyers do battle.
Crosby killed the Flyers again, finishing off Philadelphia with a shootout goal to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory at the Wachovia Center. He actually fanned on the decisive goal, a wrist shot that floated over Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher's glove.
"I didn't just fan on it a little bit," Crosby said with a sheepish grin.
But hey, when you're hot, you're hot.
Even though Crosby scored his 22nd goal of the season and produced the shootout winner, he wasn't named one of the game's three stars, further proof that he is considered a villain of the highest magnitude in Philadelphia.
"I don't know," he said. "It's just always been that way here."
As usual, Crosby turned the crowd's vulgar chants during the game into silence in the end.
He is now 5-for-5 on shootouts this season. The two areas where Crosby struggled most when he entered the league — shootouts and faceoffs — are now strengths. He currently leads the league in shootout percentage and in faceoffs won.
And his mastery of the Flyers never ceases to amaze his teammates.
"He loves coming in this building," Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "You can just tell."
If Crosby is the league's biggest Flyers killer, Fleury isn't far behind. In a performance that brought back memories of his dynamic performance in Game 4 of the 2009 first-round playoff game in Philadelphia, Fleury stopped 31 of 33 shots against the desperate Flyers, many of them terrific opportunities. He apparently has gotten into the Flyers' heads to the point that, in the shootout, Danny Briere and Claude Giroux, two rather accomplished breakaway artists, weren't even able to register shots.
"He was outstanding," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "He really made some big saves for us tonight."
Fleury improved his career record to 18-6 in regular season games against the Flyers. He also, of course, has been largely responsible for eliminating the Flyers from each of the past two postseasons.
"I thought he was really great tonight," Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton said. "The Flyers played a very good game. They were coming on strong. They were good in the second period, and Flower was there to make some huge saves."
Jeff Carter gave Philadelphia a lead only 75 seconds into the game, but the Penguins' power play, which has been so shaky most of the season, finally came through with a solid performance.
Bill Guerin scored his ninth goal of the season to give the Penguins a power play tally midway through the first period.
After Claude Giroux had given the Flyers a 2-1 lead early in the second period, the Penguins again lit the lamp with a man advantage. Crosby found himself open in the slot and buried a slap shot over Boucher's glove.
"It felt really nice to get the power play going," Crosby said.
The Flyers came on strong late in the second period, but Fleury withstood the storm. He stoned Arron Asham on a breakaway and also made brilliant saves on Danny Briere and James Van Riemsdyk.
A back-and-forth third period saw both goaltenders make terrific saves.
In overtime, penalties to Brooks Orpik and Dan Carcillo produced a highly unusual two minutes of 3-on-3 hockey. The Penguins carried the play during this time but couldn't score.
Letang was the Penguins first shooter in the shootout and beat Boucher cleanly to the forehand side.
"Kuny (Chris Kunitz) said he would bite on the first move," Letang said.
Crosby later put the game away on goal that, the way Fleury was playing, might not have been necessary.
"You got the feeling he was going to stop as many as he had to," Bylsma said.
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.
- Based on glowing recommendation, Pens hire Agnew as assistant
- Some of the top prospects in Penguins system to be in town for camp
- Penguins re-sign Megna, Samuelsson to 1-year deals
- Penguins are saying captain Crosby’s right wrist may need surgery
- New general manager Rutherford, Penguins in favor of short-term deals
- New Penguins winger Spaling files for arbitration