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Pens vs. Flyers Recap: Crosby’s OT goal caps wild win

Sidney Crosby with a 3 point night against the Flyers in a Pens OT win, Matt Murray leaves the game with a leg injury

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


As expected the Penguins go with the same group of skaters from Saturday night’s win, with Matt Murray back in goal. Ian Cole is a healthy scratch for the third straight game and Evgeni Malkin misses another to injury.

1st period

Pretty boring early, both teams with some sloppy scrambles and hard work along the boards and a couple of chances here and there but nothing too exciting.

Then Jake Guentzel gets the Pens on the board with his 10th goal of the season, taking a nice indirect pass off the wall from Justin Schultz and snapping a puck far-side past Brian Elliott.

Crazy thing is, a few minutes before Guentzel had a similar shot from along the right side of the ice and shot short-side high on Elliott. Perhaps a setup to catch the goalie leaning the second time around?

Shots end up 17-10 in favor of Pittsburgh after 1 period.

2nd period

After a fairly dull first, the refs figure to put their stamp on the game calling 2 penalties on 2 Penguin defensemen within 39 seconds of each other. Cool.

Shayne Ghostbear wastes little time turning the 5v3 into a Flyers goal with a nice hard shot that Tom Kuhnhackl doesn’t block for some reason.

The Pens kill off the other penalty, eventually get a power play of their own but fancy passing leads to bad decisions and the Flyers actually get the better scoring chance when Batton Boy Claude Giroux has nothing but Patric Hornqvist in front of an empty net but luckily Hornqvist makes the block and the score stays 1-1.

The Flyers hit the post 3 times in the second but fail to score because they’re dumb but finally get a goal from an outside shot and traffic in front from Travis Konecny to score his third goal of the season and make to 2-1 Philly.

Murray would leave the game soon after, Jakub Voracek slides into him and Murray’s knee jams back into the post in a weird and bad looking way. He’d skate off with help and put little-to-no weight on his right leg.

In the final minute of the period the Pens can’t escape out down just one goal, Matt Hunwick makes a late partner pass and Chad Ruhwedel goes weakly up the boards and Carl Hagelin can’t get out of the zone. Puck goes back and it’s in the net and over Tristan Jarry on one of the first shots he sees in relief. 3-1

Shots are 31-25 in favor of Pittsburgh after 2, but they’re down a starting goalie and by 2 goals on the scoreboard.

3rd period

Luckily, the Pens have quite a response early in the 3rd. And from who else but Patric Hornqvist is the originator of it. He draws a penalty and then scores a beauty of a goal to chip a floating puck out of mid-air and past Elliott 3-2.

Not even close to goalie interference, cuz.

Next shift, Bryan Rust looks like he does a Hornqvist impression, blocking as shot, winning a foot race with Ghost bear and depositing the puck past a hapless Elliott, actually deflecting his own shot-rebound up and over the goalie in a similar play to the Hornqvist goal but at a much higher speed. Just like that and just 1:46 into the 3rd, a 3-1 game has become a 3-3 game.

The Flyers get it back though, Michael Raffl with a nice play to avoid Kessel’s defense, and Jarry’s poke check is early and avoidable so Raffl’s got a whole open net for his backhander. 4-3 with just 3:41 left in the game.

But it’s not a winner, because Jake Guentzel is the bestest. Goes to the net and Schultz’s shot hits him and dribbles past Elliott.

The Pens get a power play because Voracek clears the puck over the glass. Conor Sheary hits the post with time almost running out, and man that would have been nice but it wasn’t to be.


The Pens get some looks on the 4v3 power play but no goals. Just after the penalty expires, they remedy that and end the game. Kris Letang with a beauty of a shot/pass looking for and finding the deflection off Sidney Crosby’s stick. 5-4 Pens. Game over.

Some Thoughts

  • Wild back and forth game, but win or lose the status of Murray’s right leg is far more important than pretty much any development here. Looked pretty nasty in real time, hopefully damage was avoided and he’ll be back soon.
  • Very interesting to see some in-game line juggling starting in the 2nd period to super-size a line with Guentzel-Crosby-Kessel. Given the limited times 87-81 are out at the same time at even (word is Crosby doesn’t think their styles mesh and prefers not playing together) it’s always an eyebrow raise to see them together.
  • Some moxy on display by the Pens to lose the 2nd period by a score of 3-0 (coulda been worse with posts too) and lose their goalie too, and then bounce back and tie the game with 2 goals in the first 1:46 of the 3rd.
  • In the 3 third period power plays (and OT too) it was Justin Schultz not Kris Letang on the top power play.
  • Carl Hagelin took a bit of a cheesy penalty on the 3rd (refs called one a bit earlier on Philly and probably evening it up here) but jeez. Hagelin just bringing nothing to the table these days.
  • Ian Cole confirmed on the national media scene to be on the trade block and might be traded by the time you are reading this. Confusing times!
  • Carter Rowney always seems to pop on the eye test in games against Philly, where Dave Hakstol was his college coach. The stat line reflects it too- 5 shots on goal (7 total attempts), 4 hits, 3 blocked shots...Only 2 for 9 in the faceoff circle, though.