Four points. Four well-earned points.
The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the rival Pittsburgh Penguins in a home-and-home series over the weekend. Craig Berube and his squad earned a well-deserved Monday breather after clinching a huge boost in the “#Clutchtime” race to the postseason.
The weekend doubleheader began in Philly, where the Flyers took on Pittsburgh in a matinee at the Wells Fargo Center.
The game began with a quick 2-0 lead for the Flyers. Scott Hartnell scored on the game’s first powerplay, and Matt Read added a shorthanded goal within the first ten minutes of the game. Steve Mason denied the Penguins on various scoring chances, cutting the rope leading back into the game.
Later in the second period, Vinny Lecavalier caught a lead pass at the center far blue line in stride. Lecavalier held off two Penguins and roofed the puck behind MarcAndre Fleury. Matt Read ended the festivities with his second goal of the game.
Twenty-four hours later, the two clubs squared off again at CONSOL Energy Center. Brayden Schenn opened the scoring early again, and Wayne Simmonds doubled the lead on a Flyers powerplay. Wayne Simmonds converted a rebound past Fleury for another 3-0 lead, but the Penguins didn’t roll over.
Brooks Orpik pulled the game back to 3-1 before the first period ended. In the second, Matt Niskanen brought Pittsburgh within one; however, Matt Read added to Pittsburgh’s powerplay woes by netting another shorthanded goal. Jayson Megna pulled the difference to one, but Mason and the Flyers kept Pittsburgh out of the net.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held without a point over the weekend. Sean Couturier held Crosby in check, while the Flyers held firm on the penalty kill. Claude Giroux and the power play look to be clicking.
In a stretch when the Flyers face a slew of playoff teams, this sweep proved they can outplay top teams. Should the battle of Penn. rekindle in the playoffs, Flyers fans can be sure their team can soar over clumsy penguins.