Last night the Penguins largely went through the motions in a lackluster effort against a Western Conference nobody. Tonight was about the polar opposite of last night; back and forth action from the Wachovia Center from two heated rivals. It may have been five and a half months since the two teams last met and the Penguins eliminated the Flyers from the playoffs, but it didn't take very long for acquaintances to be renewed.
- As you could expect, the referees were the busiest men out there, whistling 24 infractions for a total of 66 penalty minutes.
- It only took the Flyers 14 seconds to record their first penalty, and just a couple ticks later Evgeni Malkin got credited with the goal (though it sure looked like Sidney Crosby tipped it).
- About 11 minutes later, in the highlight of his night, Braydon Coburn pinched down and threw a pretty pass out that Danny Briere could tap in to equalize the game. Before the loud-mouth PA guy could draw out his goal announcement, Malkin ripped a pass right through the middle to Jordan Staal who huged his huge reach to beat Ray Emery.
- Briere would score again in the second before the Penguins once again used a long pass to expose the Philly defense, springing Bill Guerin on a breakaway for Dad's first goal on the season.
- Then, with the Penguins up 3-2 but short-handed it happened. Coburn, from behind his own net at an extreme angle somehow inadvertently saw his cross-ice pass hit Emery's skate and end up in his own net. Somehow Alex Goligoski gets the easiest goal he'll ever score.
- Tyler Kennedy would score a goal in between two Jeff Carter markers to end the scoring, then the fun really starts.
- With less than five seconds left, and no chance of winning, Mike Richards demonstrated his leadership by running over Marc-Andre Fleury and then valiantly grabbing his head (when he didn't come close to hitting it on the goal or ice) so no one would attack him. Scott "Fartsmell" started getting in a scrum and apparently biting Kris Letang in the hand. Letang was definitely bleeding on the hand/wrist area.
- As if that wasn't enough, Chris Pronger treated his former teammate Chris Kunitz like a puppet, choking him from behind by grabbing his jersey and trying to get in a fight. With nothing to gain, since the game was decided.
Stay classy, Philadelphia. As for Pittsburgh, that's two more points in the win column and an impressive road division win against their toughest rival.
Also, as an aside: in addition to, you know, winning the Stanley Cup, Dan Bylsma now has a regular season record of 21-4-4 as an NHL head coach. That would be a 130 point pace over an 82 game season (last year San Jose led the league with 117 points).
And finally, a new feature:
The Good: Sidney Crosby won 21 of 24 faceoffs
The Bad: Evgeni Malkin took four minor penalties (even though his one goal and one assist paced the team)
The Ugly: Other than Coburn's gaffe how about Scott Hartnell freaking bit a man