Fight Night 3: Flyers Beat Penguins in a Blood Bath
- Updated: April 16, 2012
The Philadelphia Flyers seemed to be only capable of winning one way in the Stanley Cup playoffs. As such, Flyers fans like myself are conditioned to worry more when they don’t fall behind by 2-0 or 3-0. Therefore, when the Pittsburgh Penguins scored the first goal early in Game 3 on April 15, it was actually a little troubling that Philadelphia quickly tied it up.
However, the Flyers then proceeded to win in a way they rarely have lately. The final score was 8-4, which was nothing new after the 8-5 victory in Game 2 on April 13. Yet this time, the Flyers didn’t wait until the second and third periods to score their goals.
Marc-Andre Fleury lent a hand, as he gave up a rather fluky shorthanded goal to Max Talbot to start the carnage. Beforehand, the Penguins came out swinging in the opening minutes with a goal and a power play, looking every bit ready to go up by 2-0 or 3-0 early again. Yet when Fleury was victimized by an awful bounce, it set the tone for Philadelphia to dominate quicker than usual.
The horrible breaks and bounces continued through the first period – along with the ugly fights – as the Flyers tacked on three more goals at Fleury’s expense. It was a wonder that he survived the first 20 minutes, yet Philadelphia benefited by getting two more goals in the second before he was finally relieved.
But for the most part, things were playing out like the reverse of Game 2. The Flyers kept building two goal leads, yet the Penguins cut it to one on three straight occasions. Paranoid Philadelphia fans could have been excused if they thought things were setting up for our own awful collapse, which would let Pittsburgh right back into this series.
However, while the Flyers don’t have experience in holding a lead, they still showed the Penguins how it was done. The big tally came in the last minute of the second as Wayne Simmonds extended the lead to 6-4, which finally chased Fleury out. Then when Claude Giroux welcomed Brent Johnson by scoring an opening minute goal in the third, the actual suspense was drained out of Wells Fargo Center.
This was the least miraculous comeback the Flyers have had over the Penguins this season, since they were only down by one goal at first. Still, although it had begun to look like Philadelphia couldn’t win without a massive rally, it took a significant baby step in Game 3.
Now that they only had to come back from 1-0 down, maybe the day will come when the Flyers actually score the first goal in a game and don’t fall behind once. It may need to happen at least once to win the Stanley Cup – but it still hasn’t been necessary to destroy the Penguins yet. However, maybe Philadelphia could stand to lead throughout Game 4 and end Pittsburgh’s season in ironic fashion anyway.