On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, the Pittsburgh Penguins as the fourth seed in the east played host to the fifth seed Philadelphia Flyers in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals NHL playoff series.
This keystone state match-up was highly anticipated among all hockey fans and media because of the well-documented rivalry between the two teams, as well as the talent each team possesses, including league leading scorers throughout the regular season Evgeni Malkin and Claude Giroux, on their respectable rosters.
The first period would not see any special teams as no penalties were called. There would be scoring though.
In the first period, scoring began with an early goal for Pittsburgh off a backhand shot from center Sidney Crosby, one of the best players in the league. This goal came at just 3:43 into the first period.
Just a few minutes later at the 7:49 mark of the first period, Pittsburgh’s forward Tyler Kennedy would increase their lead with his wrist-shot goal against Philadelphia’s goaltender Bryzgalov.
The Flyers now were down by 2 goals, and it wasn’t halfway through the first period yet. Philadelphia Head Coach Peter Laviolette utilized his timeout in an effort to regroup his team and their focus to try and claw their way back into this hockey game.
Unfortunately, with just 37 seconds remaining in the first period, the Penguins would increase their lead 3 goals to none with a wrist-shot goal from left winger Pascal Dupuis.
Intermission served to be a help for the Philadelphia Flyers, as they would begin to show a better effort in the second period. At 6:22 in the second, Philadelphia forward Danny Brière would begin the eventual comeback for the Flyers with a wrist-shot goal against Pittsburgh’s goaltender Marc-André Fleury.
Pittsburgh was given two power play opportunities in the second period. Flyers forward Claude Giroux was given a 2 minute minor penalty for boarding, and later in the second period, Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was given a 2 minute minor penalty for cross checking. Fortunately for Philadelphia, the Penguins were unable to capitalize on their power play opportunities. The second period ended with the Penguins up 3-1.
The third period would solidify the Philadelphia Flyers’ determination to come back in this hockey game. Though Flyers right winger Jaromír Jágr was given a 2 minute minor penalty for interference, the Penguins were again unable to score on their power play opportunity.
Pittsburgh’s left winger Brooks Orpik took an untimely 2 minute minor interference penalty at 10:41 in the third period. With 18 seconds remaining on their only power play of the game, Philadelphia’s forward Brayden Schenn deflected a shot from left winger Scott Hartnell which would knot the game 3-3. The third period would end tied forcing overtime.
Flyers left winger Jackub Voráček scored the game winning goal when he shot a rebound behind Pittsburgh’s Fleury just 2:23 into the first overtime period.
The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 3-0 deficit in the game to win, now leading the best of seven playoff series 1-0. Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov won the game making 25 saves on 28 shots, while Penguins goaltender made 22 saves on 26 shots in a losing effort.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Philadelphia Flyers for game 2 on Friday, April 13, 2012. Fans can tune in to catch game 2 of this heated series on NBC Sports CSN at 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.