Pittsburgh at Philadelphia

Penguins wipe out three-goal deficit, win in Philly


PHILADELPHIA -- Whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers meet on the ice, a football-style shootout breaks out. This time, the Penguins scored last.

Chris Kunitz scored his second goal only 18 seconds into the third period to cap a four-goal rally that lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 victory against the Flyers on Thursday night.

Pascal Dupuis, James Neal and Tyler Kennedy also scored for the Atlantic Division leaders, who won their third consecutive game.

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The teams have combined for 20 goals in their past two games after a memorable, high-scoring playoff round in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals last spring.

"We knew it would be a challenging game," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "It was kind of a tale of two teams in the first two periods. We didn't come out with enough emotion and weren't really into the game. Maybe they got caught sitting back in the second."

Jakub Voracek had two power-play goals, and Zac Rinaldo and Kimmo Timonen also scored for the Flyers, who blew a 4-1 lead after the first period.

Both starting goalies -- Philadelphia's Ilya Bryzgalov and Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury -- were pulled after allowing four goals.

Scott Hartnell had his tying goal disallowed near the midpoint of the third period because his stick was above the crossbar when he deflected Timonen's shot into the net.

The Flyers fell to 11-13-1 and remain on the outside of the playoff race with 23 games remaining.

"It's embarrassing to the fans, embarrassing to one another," Hartnell said. "It's a big letdown. I don't know why we stopped playing."

The visitor has won all three games this season in this intrastate rivalry between two teams that struggle to play much defense against each other.

Voracek had a hat trick in a wild 6-5 victory at Pittsburgh on Feb. 20. The Flyers and Penguins totaled 45 goals through the first four games of last year's first-round playoff series that Philadelphia won in six games.

Asked the last time he saw this kind of game, Neal replied: "The last time we played the Flyers. And the time we played the Flyers before that. And the time we played them before that."

A turnover by Timonen near Pittsburgh's blue line led to a 3-on-1 break for the Penguins. Crosby fed Kunitz, who ripped one past a diving Brian Boucher to give the Penguins their first lead in the opening minute of the third period.

An unusual number of Penguins fans at the Wells Fargo Center roared in approval while the orange-clad Flyers fans fell silent.

"It's one victory," Kunitz said. "We can't get too high. We're halfway through our season and we have to get better."

Dupuis got Pittsburgh's comeback started, scoring off a crisp, behind-the-net pass from Crosby to cut it to 4-2.

Only 2:43 later, Neal scored his team-high 15th goal. Neal tried to center a pass from the side of the net to Evgeni Malkin in front, but the puck hit Bryzgalov's blocker and went under him.

Then Kennedy ripped a slap shot just inside the left post to tie it at 4 with 4:13 left in the second. That ended Bryzgalov's night. Boucher entered to the usual "Boosh" chants.

"It can't break us," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We need to come back and win a game."

The Flyers scored three times in the last five minutes of the first period to take a 4-1 lead.

First, Rinaldo put Philadelphia up 2-1 with his third goal of the season. Fleury kicked aside Nicklas Grossmann's slap shot, but the rebound went to Rinaldo in front and he snapped a wrister into the net.

Fleury then gave Philadelphia a gift goal when Timonen's floater from outside the left circle bounced off his chest and went in.

Seconds into a power play, Voracek got his 12th goal on a wrister from the point that hit defenseman Paul Martin's skate and trickled between Fleury's legs with only eight seconds left in the period.

Fleury angrily flicked the puck out of the net and was replaced by Tomas Vokoun at the start of the second.

Voracek scored his team-high 11th goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead near the midpoint of the first period. Claude Giroux set it up with a crossing pass from the left circle to the right, where Voracek slipped a soft one-timer between Fleury's legs.

As the Flyers celebrated, Hartnell got into it with Neal, who was coming out of the penalty box. The Penguins ended up with a power play and Kunitz scored his 13th goal less than a minute later to tie it.

"We didn't play well in the first period, but we stuck with it," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.


  • Matt Read was back in Philadelphia's lineup a month ahead of schedule after injuring his ribs in the first meeting against the Penguins.
  • Voracek has nine goals in the past 10 games.
  • Kunitz has a point in seven consecutive games, a career-high streak.
  • The road team is 18-5-1 in this series going back to 2009.
  • The Penguins are 10-3-1 in their past 14 games at the Wells Fargo Center, but they're 32-90-10 overall in Philadelphia.
  • The Flyers' sellout streak is up to 93 games.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Philly's Scott Hartnell (left) and Pittsburgh's James Neal collide with Flyers goalie Brian Boucher during the third period.  (AP)
Philly's Scott Hartnell (left) and Pittsburgh's James Neal collide with Flyers goalie Brian Boucher during the third period. (AP)
Pittsburgh  (16-8-0) «1315
Philadelphia (11-13-1)4004
Three Stars
C. Kunitz

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
J. Voracek

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
S. Crosby

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3

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Scoring Summary
11:18Power Play - Jakub Voracek (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Giroux, Timonen
12:05Power Play - Chris Kunitz (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Letang, Crosby
15:06 - Zac Rinaldo (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Grossmann, Talbot
18:17 - Kimmo Timonen (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Rinaldo, Fedotenko
19:52Power Play - Jakub Voracek (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Timonen
05:30 - Pascal Dupuis (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Crosby, Kunitz
08:13 - James Neal (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bennett
15:47 - Tyler Kennedy (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Cooke, Sutter
18.0 - Chris Kunitz (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Crosby, Dupuis
Penalty Summary
10:45Neal, 2 min, Elbowing
11:18Hartnell, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
11:18Hartnell, 2 min, Roughing
11:18Neal, 2 min, Roughing
13:06Niskanen, 2 min, Interference
19:44Neal, 2 min, Slashing
20:00Simmonds, 2 min, Roughing
20:00Glass, 2 min, Roughing
08:59Schenn, 2 min, Tripping
16:38Grossmann, 2 min, Interference
10:13Dupuis, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
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