Jakub Voracek’s career night helped the Flyers overcome the rallying first-place
Pittsburgh Penguins for Philadelphia’s eighth victory of the season.
The Flyers (8-9-1) fell behind early when Pittsburgh D Matt Niskanen and C Evgeni Malkin
each scored in the first 7:15 of play to stake the Penguins to a 2-0 lead, but D Nicklas Grossman and RW Wayne Simmonds each answered back with goals of their own to tie the game at two at the end of the first period. The goals were Simmonds’ fifth, and Grossman’s first of the year.
Matt Read left the game in the first quarter, sustaining an “upper body” injury after a
hit from Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz. His status is unknown as-of-yet for tomorrow’s game against the Florida Panthers.
The only goal scored by either team in the second was Voracek’s first of the night. It
came on a power play resulting from a two minute penalty on Pittsburgh’s Craig Adams, who got in trouble by elbowing Voracek.
Pittsburgh (11-6-0) managed to mount significantly more resistance than New York did two
days ago, when the visiting Flyers went into the Islanders' home ice and embarrassed them in a 7-0 clobbering. Pittsburgh managed to tie the game at five with goals from Tyler Kennedy, James Neal, and Brandon Sutter, countering the two goals scored by Philadelphia courtesy of Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, the second goals of the night for each.
Sutter’s goal made it seem likely that the game might go into overtime, with the score
tied and 2:03 left on the clock. Voracek, however, positioned himself just right in front of the net when the puck came around to net his third of the game, his first career hat-trick, to go up 6-5 with 1:31 left on the clock, a lead the Flyers would not relinquish.
This game was especially impressive as it came after Voracek’s strong four-point effort
against the Islanders on Monday. The young winger has eight points in his last three contests, and leads the team with eighteen points overall.
In a game that saw both teams match up evenly statistically, it was important that the
Flyers were able to contain the potent Sidney Crosby, whose lone point, an assist on Neal’s goal in the third, tied him for the league lead in points at twenty-five. The Center compiled a -3 rating, despite winning twenty-one of twenty-eight face-offs.
The Flyers host Florida Thursday in the first of five home games after playing their last six away from home. After losing three of their first four, the Flyers won in impressive fashion their last two games, making them an even 3-3-0 for the road trip.
With their loss, Pittsburgh drops to 11-6-0 and into a tie with New Jersey for the Atlantic division lead with twenty-two points. They have an off day before playing the Panthers at home on Friday. Philadelphia gains two points in the standings with their win, and moves into a tie with the New York Rangers for second place with seventeen points apiece.