The Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers in game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference Quarter Finals on Friday, April 13th. Though both the Flyers and their fans had hoped to avoid giving up the first goal early, the common script played out that way unfortunately when Pittsburgh’s star center Sidney Crosby scored just 15 seconds into the first period of the game.
At the 9:27 mark, with Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann serving a 2 minute minor hooking penalty, Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz buried a wrist shot to give his team a 2-0 lead.
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette then used his only timeout in the game. His team was then able to get on the scoreboard with a short-handed goal by forward Max Talbot. Unfortunately, with just 18 seconds remaining in the first period, Pittsburgh would increase their lead 3-1 with a goal from their defenseman Paul Martin.
Intermission and a visit to the dressing room seemed to help the visiting team, as the Flyers would begin yet another storied comeback in the second period. At the 5:11 mark, Philadelphia forward Claude Giroux scored a power play goal while Pittsburgh’s best player, Crosby, was in the box serving a 2 minute minor interference penalty. Giroux was not finished. Giroux would then put a short-handed goal behind Pittsburgh’s goaltender Marc-André Fleury at the 11:04 mark of the second period while his Flyers teammate Brayden Schenn was serving his own interference penalty. Pittsburgh’s Kunitz would respond just a few seconds later with his second power play goal of the game at the 11:10 mark. Finally, with just three seconds remaining in the second period, Philadelphia’s forward and rookie Sean Couturier added a goal for his team, his first NHL playoff goal, to even the score at 4-4 going into intermission.
The third period began with another familiar story, as the Penguins took another early lead just 1:04 in with a backhand goal from forward Tyler Kennedy. However, the resiliency that the Flyers have shown throughout the regular season and in the early stages of this playoff series would come through again, as this would be the last goal for the Penguins in this game. Just 17 seconds later at the 1:21 mark in the third period, Philadelphia’s Couturier would tie the game yet again with an unassisted goal, his second of the game.
At the 9:13 mark of the third period, former Penguins right winger Jaromír Jágr added what would be the game winning goal for Philadelphia, as the Flyers took the lead for the first time in the game at 6-5. Couturier added an insurance goal at the 18:11 mark for his first NHL career hat trick. Finally, Giroux would score an empty net goal for his own hat trick at the 19:53 mark.
The Flyers beat the Penguins by a final score of 8-5. They now lead the playoff series 2-0 as they head back to Philadelphia to host game 3 on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time the Wells Fargo Center.