Oskar Lindblom – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Claude Giroux – Kevin Hayes – Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk – Scott Laughton – Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl – Scott Laughton – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov – Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg – Erik Gustafsson
Carter Hart – Brian Elliott
Morgan Frost, Mark Friedman, Shayne Gostisbehere (COVID-related reasons)
None on roster
After a big opening night win on Wednesday, the Flyers and Penguins took to the Wells Fargo Center ice again on Friday night for the second half of a back-to-back series. Philadelphia’s lineup looked identical to their last game, and Pittsburgh had just one change to their roster with Chad Ruhwedel drawing in and Codi Ceci designated a healthy scratch.
It was a rough first couple of minutes for the Flyers, with the Pens pinning them in their own zone and getting a couple of awkward pucks on Carter Hart. As the Flyers turned up the intensity, physicality ramped up tangibly. Ivan Provorov and Scott Laughton each took big hits from Brandon Tanev and Sam Lafferty, respectively, with Oskar Lindblom chasing Lafferty for his hit on Laughton. Sean Couturier played just a couple of shifts before leaving the bench for unknown reasons. He would not return in this game.
Soon after, Pittsburgh got into some penalty trouble, and Travis Konecny got his team on the board on the subsequent power play as he tapped in a puck off a perfect feed through traffic by Jakub Voracek. Then Konecny lit the lamp again as he cleaned up the garbage in the crease. Tristan Jarry had lost the puck after Nolan Patrick neatly skated the puck to the net and tucked it under Jarry’s pad.
Provorov got in on the action moments later as Voracek completed another pretty pass from down low and the defenseman wired the puck past Jarry on the blocker side. Mike Sullivan had seen enough and pulled his goaltender, sending Casey DeSmith into the crease in relief.
As the tension increased between the Pennsylvania rivals, scrums began to crop up. Provorov quickly found himself in the box for roughing, and Sidney Crosby wasted no time getting the Penguins on the board as he lifted the puck up and over Hart. It looked as though Phil Myers‘ stick may have finished putting the puck over the goal line as he tried to bat it out of the way.
After Tanev added to Pittsburgh’s tally by burying a rebound off of Hart, the Flyers were lucky to get out of the first period still leading by a goal. The score remained the same through the second period as well, but the Flyers’ performance could have proved to be disastrous in the frame.
The defense looked way too loose and sloppy in the second, and the Penguins pressured their opponent hard in their own zone. There were turnovers in the neutral zone, penalties, and a lack of finish on the few offensive chances the Flyers could muster. Hart was the only bright spot in the period, coming up with more than a few big saves on Pittsburgh breakaways and scrambles in front of the net.
But just like Wednesday, the Flyers found a way to surge ahead in the third period. Konecny drove hard to the net yet again, potting his third goal of the night and completing his first career NHL hat trick. Lindblom followed that up with an empty-net goal, and the Flyers completed the two-game sweep against their cross-state rivals.
The Flyers have off on Saturday and will reconvene on Sunday for practice as they prepare to host the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
Plus / Minus
▲ Travis Konecny, Jake Voracek, Nolan Patrick, Carter Hart
▼ Robert Hagg, Justin Braun