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Flyers play with fire and get burned

April 15, 2018, 5:57 PM ET [239 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins have a 2-1 series lead and can thank their goaltender for holding things down in the first period. In a role reversal from Game 2 it was Matt Murray who came to play and Brian Elliott who couldn’t keep his team in the game. This was the workload that Murray faced early on

Impressive bounce back game which has been the standard after a sub-par playoff performance for Murray. The Flyers could have piled on early much like the Penguins did after surviving the first period, with a lead no less. The Flyers had a 27-26 shot advantage in the game.

Sidney Crosby sucks, the life out of the building. A Philadelphia tradition like no other. He showed off his well-rounded coordination by kicking the puck to his stick and scoring on a wrap around.

All of those skills are simple on their own, but Sidney Crosby is better at combining the simplicities of this sport and perfecting their execution better than anybody. It is what drives his consistency as a player even when the puck isn’t going in the net for him. Right now the puck is going in. He has four goals in the series and had four points in Game 3 alone.

The power play got its act together. The key was getting shots from the point. It’s a horse I’ve beaten dead over the years. You need to keep the other team honest by shooting from up top. When the Penguins don’t do that the other team has a better chance of keeping them on the perimeter. It creates chaos and when you do move the puck back to either Phil Kessel or Evgeni Malkin they have more room to operate. Justin Schultz and Kris Letang did a very nice job of sending pucks towards the net. You have Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist down low to tip pucks and win rebound battles. It’s too much for the other team to handle. When they nail down the basics and find their 2 on 1’s with a shooting mentality it is hell for the other team.

The first power play goal was a great play by Derick Brassard and I’m not talking about the shot even though that was nice. Leading up to the goal Brassard tied up the stick of the upper penalty kill player which allowed a clean pass to Letang. Immediately after there was a shot and a rebound which allowed Phil Kessel to do Phil Kessel things.

Pittsburgh scored another two power play goals to take a commanding lead. The Flyers received two minor penalties on the same sequence and the Penguins made them pay. First it was Evgeni Malkin going with a vintage one-timer. Then it was Sid making things happen off the faceoff.

Sidney Crosby threw a fake baton on the ice which distracted Claude Giroux and allowed Crosby to win the faceoff forward. Once he gained the zone he flipped a perfect backhand pass over to Brian Dumoulin for another goal only five second later.

After the Penguins got it taken to them in the first period things got a lot easier for Matt Murray in the second period. After seeing 29 shot attempts in the first that number dropped to 12 in the second period.

The Flyers continued to take penalties in the third period and it thwarted any chance for them to get back into the game.

The teams are going to have a few days to think about this one as the next game is not until Wednesday night.

Thanks for reading!
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