Momentum was in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the beginning of the night, as they opened up a 3-0 lead before the end of the first period. By the end of the game, that momentum couldn’t have seemed further away.
Jakub Voracek scored the game-winner as the Philadelphia Flyers topped the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 4-3 overtime win in game one of their first round Stanley Cup playoff matchup on Wednesday night.
The Penguins came out hot early, scoring three goals in the first period. Sidney Crosby back-handed a goal over Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove side about four minutes into the game. Nine minutes later, Tyler Kennedy netted the Penguins second goal on a feed from Jordan Staal. The final goal from the Penguins came from Pascal Dupuis, with just 37 seconds remaining in the period. The Penguins were dominating the shot total by the end of the first 20 minutes, leading by a total of 13-6.
Coming out into the second period, the Penguins white-hot momentum was doused.
Bryzgalov returned in the second period looking more comfortable and more poised than the previous period, tallying 10 saves during the second 20 minutes of play.
Following a Flyers penalty kill early in the second period, Danny Briere netted the Flyers’ first goal of the game on a breakaway that was made possible by a missed offsides call just seconds before.
Regardless of the referee’s decision–it was the change in momentum the Flyers needed.
Briere put the pressure on the Penguins midway through the third period, scoring his second goal of the game at 9:17 of the period, shrinking Pittsburgh’s lead to just one.
After Brooks Orpik was called for interference, Brayden Schenn tied it up off a feed from linemate Scott Hartnell with just 7:37 remaining in regulation.
There’s nothing more frustrating than gaining a lead, and completely blowing it. The Penguins simply got too comfortable, sat back and watched the rest of the game happen. Luckily for the Penguins, and the entire hockey world, six potential games are ahead, leaving room for improvement.
The power[less]-play continually needs work. It baffles me how there are two of the most talented players in the NHL on the same power-play without any positive outcome. More pressing, where did the momentum go? Or the passion? It completely dissipated somewhere between Bryzgalov getting comfortable and Briere’s goal.
Whatever the issue, Dan Bylsma needs to rally the team for game two, and the intensity of the rest of the series.
The Penguins faceoff against the Flyers at the CONSOL Energy Center again for game two Friday at 7:30 p.m.