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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Game Recap: Penguins 5 - Flyers 4 [SO]

Scott Hartnell reacts after Dany Sabourin makes an amazing save on Mike Richards

Sidney Crosby had two goals and Alex Goligoski scored the only goal in a shootout as the Penguins recovered from blowing a 3-0 lead to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4.

Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke scored the other Pittsburgh goals. Dany Sabourin came in to handle the third period and the shootout after Marc-Andre Fleury allowed 4 goals in the first two periods, including two shorthanded goals.

The Penguins built a three-nothing lead and looked to be running away with the game as the Flyers began to get themselves in penalty trouble. However, as we all know, a Penguins lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey.

The Penguins' powerplays soon became disadvantages as Simon Gagne scored two quick shorthanded goals. The second period finished with the Flyers ahead by one and the third period began with Dany Sabourin taking Marc-Andre Fleury's spot in the Penguins' net. It didn't look good, but then Sidney Crosby sent the game into overtime, scoring with under three minutes left.

The shootout went five rounds without a goal until Alex Goligoski scored a beautiful one on Martin Biron. The Flyers' last shooter was Scott Hartnell. He needed to score or it was over. Hartnell lost the puck on the way to the net, regained it, and then missed the shot. The Penguins won the game.

Following the save Hartnell tackled Sabourin to the ice before the referees intervened. Earlier in the shootout Hartnell, standing on the bench, had thrown his glove to the ice in anger after a spectacular Sabourin save.

The Pittsburgh Penguins did not deserve to win that game. They went 1-for-7 on the powerplay and allowed two shorthanded goals, including giving up a three-on-one with Evgeni Malkin on defense. That play lead to a Flyers goal. Again the Penguins failed to put their opponent away after building up a relatively large lead.

Rob Scuderi played a full game despite being a game-time decision for the Pens. The threat of injury loomed again as Evgeni Malkin was hit hard in the third period. His leg folded awkwardly under him and he left the ice in pain. It looked bad, but he stayed in the game.

Sidney Crosby put on a show, scoring twice and creating several huge chances. Without him the Penguins would have lost this game.

But Crosby was there and the Penguins pulled another victory out of nowhere.

It remains to be seen whether any disciplinary action will take place as a result of Hartnell's antics in the shootout. I've never seen someone attack the goaltender like that after a shootout save.

The Penguins face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in Pittsburgh. The team will be wearing their third jerseys for the first time this season.

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