The Flyers got a huge win on Saturday afternoon against crosstown rivals Pittsburgh, shutting them out with a final score of 4-0. Goals were provided by Scott Hartnell, Matt Read (2, including a shorthanded goal), and Vincent Lecavalier. Steve Mason stopped 25 shots, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 36 of the Flyers’ 40.
As was to be expected, the matinee matchup was fast-paced and intense from the get. The Flyers got a strong start, peppering three shots on Fleury early on. Hartnell’s 16th of the year came at just under four minutes into the game, and Read’s shorthanded goal brought the score to 2-0 at 8:12. Philadelphia held the Penguins to just seven shots in the first, some of which were rather weak, including two shots on two different power play opportunities. Of the two teams, the Flyers looked far more primed for the game than the Penguins did, and it showed. The first period ended with Philadelphia leading in 12-7 in shots.
The Penguins put Malkin and Crosby on a line together for the second half, and it didn’t seem to make much of a difference at all. For the second period in a row, the Flyers dominated, killing off penalties on Wayne Simmonds and Zac Rinaldo and tacking on two more goals. Lecavalier extended Philadelphia’s lead with six minutes left to go in the second, and Read’s second of the night came in the closing seconds of the period.
It was a fast-paced and exciting third period, but ultimately, neither team managed to score. Great news for the Flyers, of course, who took away a much-needed 4-0 win after two straight losses. Aside from a lack of discipline, evidence by five penalties, the Flyers looked strong everywhere else. They were fantastic on the penalty kill (especially Matt Read, who had a strong game all-around), and did not give the Penguins many quality chances at all. It's the kind of play they need to maintain if they want to secure a spot in the postseason.
Simon Despres, high-sticking (2:34, 1st)
Claude Giroux, slashing (5:09, 1st)
Andrew MacDonald, cross-checking (7:41, 1st)
Sidney Crosby, hooking (11:04, 1st)
Wayne Simmonds, tripping (2:19, 2nd)
Zac Rinaldo, interference (9:40, 2nd)
Jussi Jokinen, interference (10:30, 2nd)
Brayden Schenn, high-sticking (7:27, 3rd)
Joe Vitale, slashing (12:04, 3rd)
Notes: Flyers’ powerplay was 0-8 their last two games heading into today’s matchup… Giroux’s two points have moved him into 4th in the league, tied with Corey Perry, Patrick Kane, and Kyle Okposo… This game was the 34th time this season that the Flyers scored the first goal. They’ve now registered a win or OT/SO point in 29 of those games. The second game of the home-and-home will be played Sunday at 12:30pm.