The CONSOL Energy Center began to empty prior to the final buzzer Tuesday night after Ville Leino buried his 19th goal of the season past Marc-Andre "Flower" Fleury midway through the 3rd period.
Leino's second goal of the game wound up freezing the final score, 5 - 2, thus completing a regular season shutout in the Penguins new barn.
“It’s been a couple games I hadn’t scored and I get a couple so I guess it goes like that sometimes,” Leino said. “Sometimes it’s tough when teams aren’t that close and you’re the No. 1 spot. But now teams are close to us. This was a desperate game and we played good.” ~ CSNPhilly
Despite falling behind twice on the scoreboard throughout the competition, our Orange Soldiers managed to comeback both times, get ahead, play with the lead, then plant an icy tombstone in every heart of the Penguins' hopeful.
Sergei Bobrovsky faced a total of 27-shots and stopped 25, ending the evening with a 0.926 SV%.
“This was a fight for first place,” Bobrovsky said via a translator. “This was especially important.” ~ CSNPhilly
Prior to the puck dropping at center ice, the Flyers lead the Pens in the standings by only 2-points. It was agreed by players, coaches, sportswriters and fans alike that this was the biggest game of the season.
“We needed to have a big effort; we’ve kind of been slacking the last little while,” Hartnell said. “Our third periods haven’t been that great, but to nail it down like we did, well, guys are having fun joking around. It’s nice to put a little space between us and Pittsburgh, as well.” ~ CSNPhilly
In fact, our Bullies would have converted two goals on the man advatage, however, Braydon Coburns knuckled puck made nest in the twine milliseconds after the Flyers first power play ended. It was later confirmed that Jeff Carter was the one who caught Coburn's shot in mid flight and deflected it through Fleury's save attempt.
It was the Playboy's 35th goal of the season.
The GWG came off the tape of Claude Giroux's blade deep in the thirty-fifth minute of the match. At that point it put the Flyers ahead for the first time in regulation, 3 - 2. It was Roo's 25th lit lamp of the season. Whatever it was, there's no question it sparked Philly's dominance and control for the remainder of the game.
Flyers beat writer, Tim Panaccio, reported the goal was Claude's third game winner between the two division rivals this regular season, and "finished with five goals in the six overall games against Pittsburgh."
I haven't read any post-game interview with Giroux in regards to his accomplishment, but I imagine that if he had something to say....he'd probably say this;
"Time to go get laid."
If it wasn't the Hartnell-Briere-Leino line, then it was Carter and Giroux. If it wasn't the womanizer and the red-bearded French Canadian, then it was Coburn.
If it wasn't a score, then it was a hit. If it wasn't a hit, then it was our speed.
Pure domination. Well, not for all the 60-minutes.
Although the Pens scored first and had our boys on their heels more than we were comfortable with throughout the beginning period, the Flyers cameback, brought the pain and finished the game. It was everything we all expect every time they hit the ice.
It was one hell of a physical matchup. Tons on the line. But we never backed down.
“We’ve done a good job for the most part responding when our backs are against the wall and coming out with good efforts,”Sean O’Donnell said. “I just wish sometimes we didn’t wait until our backs are against the wall.
You and me both, Sean. I have more gray hairs on my head than a silverback's got between his shoulder blades because of this season. Too many close calls, lost tilts we shoulda won, and unfortunate slump timing.
Speaking of slumps...
These bastards are coming to Broad Street.
I mean Atlanta...not the Montreal Circus Midgets.
Georgia's least known sports team (and that includes their professional 10-Man paintball program, The Knights of Honor) are a total of ten points behind the 8th seed in the standings with virtually no chance of catching up. Actually...according to my math...they don't have any chance to catch up.
Then again, according to my math, my unit of measurement for the sun is "Really goddamn big", so take my word with a grain of salt.
::shines a Tyler Altemose light in the night sky:: WE NEED YOU FOR A MOMENT!!!
But whatever mess those Thrashers bury themselves into, our Flyers always seem to struggle with 'em. We're 1-1-1 against them this season, but if you remember correctly, they played hell with us late in the 2009-10 schedule and beat us back to back times, painting two L's in the loss column. Two games (at that time) that we really needed to get points from.
Though we're #1 in the conference, we're still heavily competing with the Capitals (3-pts back) and the Penguins (4-pts back). And yet again, here we are....another match we need points from and we're facing Atlanta.
That squad really is a pain in the ass. Hopefully the Flyers can establish a lead early in the tilt tonight and play with it. We gotta work with the momentum we cupped from Tuesday's win over Pittsburgh and keep surfing its wave through every minute this evening.