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Penguins vs Flyers, Round 3 Game 3 [Open Thread]

Game 3
In Philly at 7:30 p.m.
Penguins lead series 2-0
Watch on Versus, Yahoo! or listen live on

It's unfortunate that I have to start this one off with some upsetting news surrounding the team.  The Staal Brothers' grandfather passed away this week, and each one of them is accomodating the situation differently.  Eric has left the Canadian team in the IIHF tourney, Marc is heading back to Thunder Bay and Jordan has every intention to pay his respects Wednesday morning.  

In the typical competitor-way familiar with hockey players, Jordan will still be active on the roster for Tuesday's game in Philly.  

What a guy.

The Flyers, however, will see Braydon Coburn join Kimmo Timmonen on the list of roster scratches.  As much as Coburn would love to play, the 50 stitches above his eye say otherwise.  Coburn will be replaced by Ryan Parent, after the defenseman took a puck to the face from a Hal Gill slapshot Sunday night.  Parent has only played in one game this postseason; Game One against the Capitals.  He finished with no points and a +1 rating.

It's also been said that the Penguins may be without Gary Roberts, whose play in Game 2 was no doubt a crucial part to Pittsburgh's victory.  With a 2-2 in the third, Roberts' no-look centering pass to Max Talbot's goal sparked the lead for the Penguins and was later sealed by an insurance marker from Jordan Staal.  The question at hand right now is why Roberts will sit, as the team doctors have labeled it an 'undisclosed illness.'

In Philly tonight, the Penguins once again find themselves in a situation where the other team will exhibit a must-win philosophy.  While simple math in a best of seven series would say Philly doesn't necessarily need to win Game 3, morale and the law of averages would say otherwise.  Game 3 is as crucial to Philly as heading into Game 4 down 3-0.

In the Rangers series the Penguins witnessed a different style of play.  New York is best on the dump and chase play; the slow and steady set-up to the open guy.  Pitt, as mentioned and exhibited, is all about the run-and-gun style of offense that leads to quick breaks, fast passing and accurate shots.  In this match-up against Philly, the Penguins take on a team that portrays a similar sense of play.  In the previous two games the Penguins have outplayed the Flyers in every aspect of run-and-gun, from the power play, to the penalty kill and even with solid even-strength play.  If Philly hopes to pull this one off, they're going to find a way to limit their penalties, control the puck in Pittsburgh's zone and maintain a hearty and healthy penalty kill if and when the Pens get the man advantage.  In essence, this would seem to be their only course of survival.

I don't know how long is long enough to start talking about the West, but I'm going to do it anyway.  Detroit is just downright scary.  Most Pens fans, if not all, should be rooting for Dallas to somehow majestically and magically pull off a four-game comeback over the Wings.  Realists, theorists and even dreamers know this is far from possible.  While it would seem apparent the Stanley Cup Finals will have Pitt going up against Detroit, we'll have to remain patient and not allow our hopes to get the best of rational thought.  Up 2-0 is healthy, but it's still anyone's series.  This game will decide the alteration of that statement.

[EDIT: 3:25] I almost forgot (actually I did and now I just remembered) - Pensburgh will have an all new look and feel to it as of early morning May 20.  You get to keep your usernames of course, but it will all be taken to another level of blogging that does what I've always wanted on this site; involve the readers more.  If you want an idea as to what you can expect, visit SBNation's Pittsburgh Pirates blog Buc's Dugout.  [/EDIT]