The Pittsburgh Penguins came into Philadelphia knowing full well it would be a hostile environment. Sidney Crosby came in knowing he was the most hated person on the planet with regards to Philly fans. It was Crosby that would once again Torture the Flyers, but that did not happen until Matt Murray stood on his head and single hand-idly gave Crosby that opportunity. The Stars were given out and Crosby was named the top star and Murray the second. One could make a case that in fact Murray could have been the top star of the game.
The Penguins have been there and done that in the past several seasons with regards to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and rebounding after losses. But in the first 5 or 10 minutes of Sunday’s game, the Flyers were all over Matt Murray going through, around, and over the Pens defense. All Murray did was turn the shots away one after the other. He was the best Goalie in Hockey when he needed to be. That gave Crosby the chance to step up and remind the Flyers Goalie Brad Elliot what they did to him during game 1 in Pittsburgh.
Sid would not waste that great play by his goalie and started the offensive show with a wrap around. That goal was extremely deflating for the Flyers because it came during the best period of play the Flyers have had all season. The Pens were actually out shot in that first period, 11-4. The Penguins would hold serve for the remainder of the period, but you could feel As soon as that goal occurred, the script began to change. From the second period on, it was all Penguins including the Pens scoring their 3rd and 4th goals just 5 seconds apart which was a playoff record.
Crosby would finish the game with a goal and 3 assist. When asked on Monday about Sid and the attributes he possesses that makes him so great, Sullivan said that “it’s Sid’s attention to detail, its his appetite to get better. He works tirelessly at it.”
The Pens would cash in on 3 of 7 power plays, including Brassard getting his first of the playoffs. Sullivan said after the game that Brassard played his best game since his return. He hopes and is counting on that play getting better as the playoffs roll on. Evgeni Malkin was back to playing angry and it would pay off with a goal and some dominating play… but not until the second period.
Game four will be Wednesday, giving each team an extra day off. That will be a make or break game for the Flyers and it will serve as an opportunity for the Pens to drive that nail in the coffin a little deeper.
In Monday’s call, Sullivan answered some other general questions from the media discussing days off and penalties just to name a couple.
When asked about how tight the games are being called, Sullivan talked about the amount of penalties is a sure indication of how close they are calling it. He also said “Discipline is of the utmost importance, if we are going to put ourselves in the best position.”
Because the next game does not take place till Wednesday, the Pens chose to come home for a couple days and Sullivan said he gave them a day. Because of The short distance, he said it just made sense to come home.