ShareThis Page

Penguins fall again, 8-5

| Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Penguins finally have the band together, but this might have been the night the music died.

A healthy amount of star power has coincided with the Penguins becoming a stunningly careless defensive team, and it was the same story Friday night in an 8-5 loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Consol Energy Center.

Jaromir Jagr scored the game-winning goal in another Flyers' comeback. Claude Giroux enjoyed the biggest game of his career, producing three goals and three assists. Flyers rookie Sean Couturier also registered a hat trick.

Call it a Flyers' comeback, or maybe it was a Penguins' meltdown.

"I don't really know what to say," Penguins right wing Craig Adams said. "Just a weird, weird game."

Should the Penguins fail to win in Philadelphia on Sunday or Wednesday, the series — and their season — will be over.

So, how do they recover?

"We just have to regroup tomorrow and see what we're doing wrong," said defenseman Brooks Orpik, who led all players with eight hits. "We have 20 guys that are working as hard as they can. No one is pointing fingers. Everyone is giving max effort. It's executing better. They're taking advantage of every mistake we make. We're hanging our goalie out to dry."

Evgeni Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer, was a minus-4 against the Flyers. But he isn't about to give up on this series.

"We still have a chance," Malkin said. "It's not over. We have confidence. Why not• We have beaten the Flyers in Philly before. Why not do it again?"

Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins the lead just 15 seconds into the game. They enjoyed leads of 2-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4. On every occasion, the Flyers roared back, and did so largely because of Penguins' turnovers.

"We had a great start again," Malkin said. "And we lost control again. I don't know why it happens."

With the series on the line entering the third period, Tyler Kennedy gave the Penguins a 5-4 advantage when his backhand effort squirted through goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's pads.

In keeping with the fashion of the series, the Penguins' lead lasted a mere 17 seconds.

A horrific turnover from defenseman Ben Lovejoy gave Couturier a breakaway. He made no mistake, scoring his second goal of the game to even the score, 5-5.

"Our players were so resilient," Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said. "It was

Then, Jagr took advantage of center Jordan Staal's inability to clear a loose puck and a poor rebound from Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Flyers their first regulation lead of the series.

Unlike the Penguins, Philadelphia was able to slow the game down and preserve its lead.

In a somber postgame locker room, many of the Penguins players maintained that this series isn't over.

Starting Sunday in Game 3, the truth will be revealed.

"It's a good team over there," Staal said. "We're a good team, too. We've got to find a way to win a game. Next one is a big one."

The next loss might be fatal.

"Philly is a great team," Malkin said. "But we need to focus."

Photo Galleries

Game 2 Penguins vs. Flyers 4/13/11

Game 2  Penguins vs. Flyers  4/13/11

The Flyers defeat the Penguins, 8-5, in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup playoff series.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.