The Pittsburgh Penguins rebounded from their late overtime loss against the Devils on Saturday to grab a late overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. The Penguins used up most of the sudden death overtime before Pascal Dupuis scored the game winner with just 11-seconds left to win the game 3-2. The win improves the Penguins record to 2-1-1, and will hopefully give the team something to rally around moving forward. Petr Sykora played in his first game of the season after sitting out 3-games du to a groin pull.
The first period featured some excellent hard-hitting, back and forth Penguins/Flyers action, but no scoring for either side. Just over 5-minutes into the period, Eric Godard energized Mellon Arena by taking on Riley Cote in a battle of the big boys. In what was undoubtedly the best fight of the year so far for the Penguins, both players got in plenty of good shots. It was Godard, however, that got in the most and best hits of the bout, including a haymaker that connected and sent the linesmen in to break it up. The Penguins were outshot by the Flyers 7-6, went 0-for-2 on the powerplay and 2-for-2 on the kill.
In the 2nd period, the Penguins’ offense came alive and peppered Flyers’ goaltender Antero Nittymaki. But despite all of the firepower up front for the Penguins, they managed to pick up 2-quick goals from a couple of unlikely sources. At 14:12, while working the left point on the 2nd powerplay unit, Brooks Orpik took a hard shot that beat Nittymaki. Tyler Kennedy and Kris Letang picked up the assists. It was just Orpik’s 5th career goal, and his first coming on the man advantage. Then, just 42-seconds later, newly acquired Mike Zigomanis buried Matt Cooke’s pass from behind the net to make it 2-0. Eric Godard picked up the other assist in a great play by the 4th line. The goal was the 20th career tally for Zigomanis. The Flyers bounced back, however, with 2-quick goals of their own with under a minute to go in the period. At 19:16, Jeff Carter tried to make a pass across the crease and over the blocking stick of Hal Gill, but the puck hit Gill’s stick and bounced into the net past Fleury for a goal. It was the 2nd consecutive game in which Hal Gill was involved in a flukey goal against his own team. Then at 19:37, the Flyers won a face-off in the Penguins zone and passed the puck back to Simon Gagne who let a shot rip through traffic that beat Fleury to tie it up. It was a huge goal for the Flyers to send them to the 2nd intermission with the tie. Theshots were 12 a side in the 2nd, with the Penguins going 1-for-2 on the powerplay and masterfully killing off 2 penalties.
The 3rd period again saw good end-to-end action, but no scoring. The Penguins were outshot 9-8, were 0-for-2 on the powerplay and again did an excellent job of killing off 2-penalties.
To the overtime period, both teams started a bit conservatively before exchanging a couple of good opportunities at each end of the ice. But it was a beautiful long up ice pass from Brooks Orpik that gave Pascal Dupuis the opportunity to blast the game winner past Nittymaki with just 11-seconds left on the overtime clock. The shot caught the upper right hand corner of the net, beating Nittymaki who was well out in front of the net on the play to cut down the angle. Kris Letang collected the other assist, his second of the night.
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The Penguins will play host to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Mellon Arena.