Statement: Flyers Stomp Pens 7-4

The critics of the Philadelphia Flyers have said it relentlessly over the past two weeks. They were saying that the way only to judge the revival of the Flyers was how they do against teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Can they make a statement against the team who has ousted them from the playoffs the past two seasons?

Yes, the statement was made.

The Flyers went to the Igloo last night, an arena where they have the most trouble winning in, and beat the defending Stanley Cup champs 7-4.

James van Riemsdyk and Jeff Carter each scored two goals, while Matt Carle, Chris Pronger, and Mike Richards each added a goal to push the Flyers to a 6-1-1 record in their past eight games.

“They are one of top teams in NHL and we’ve had our struggles with them,” said Arron Asham, who set up both of van Riemsdyk’s goals. “Coming in here and stealing two points was huge. It’s a stepping stone for us and we’ve been playing some great hockey the last couple of weeks. We want to keep it going.”

To the players, this wasn’t a statement game, or they just can’t look at it that way. If they gain anything out of this it would be the confidence factor or a stepping stone of some sort.

[Chris] Pronger added: “I think it might be a little early for statement games. It’s just a matter of us continuing to gain confidence and not make a statement – we’ve got to worry about ourselves and how we’re playing. Statement games can come later.”

Carter and the Flyers set the tone early when he scored a power-play goal from a turnaround shot from the slot at 6:39 in the first. Van Riemsdyk pushed the lead to 2-0 when he took a gorgeous pass from Asham and beat Marc-Andre Fleury through the five-hole.

Sidney Crosby attacked over a minute later when he cut the lead to 2-1 with a slapshot of a rebound. Crosby later added his second goal of the evening, he now has 23 goals and 51 points in 30 regular-season games against the Flyers. 

Late in the first around the 17 minute mark, Carle blasted a shot past Fleury to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead. However, with just 56 seconds remaining in the first Matt Cooke got one by Michael Leighton to inch the Pens closer at 3-2.

From then on the Flyers never let the Pens back into the game. The Mellon Arena is usually known for the ‘white out’ became blacked out after their first period rush.

Philadelphia came out firing early in the second frame when Pronger took a hard wrist-shot from the point at 1:42. Over a minute later, van Riemsdyk made it 5-2 when he beat Fleury’s replacement Brent Johnson through the five-hole.

“I really didn’t have to do much but get open and Ash gave me two great passes,” JVR said. “I owe him given the tap-ins he’s been giving me the past few games.”

“I don’t know, just kind of instinct as it was one [move] I thought would work,” JVR said. “It was lucky enough to go in twice.”

Crosby made it 5-3 with his second of night at 10:32. The Flyers capitalized on most of their chances, which is what helped them constantly contain the Penguins.   

“They capitalize on their changes and we capitalized on ours,” Flyer captain [Mike] Richards said. “This was a good game for us. It was important to keep our confidence going.

“Especially, the way we did it. We kind of sealed them off the in the third period. … When push came to shove, I thought we did a good job of shutting the game down.”

Carter dug the knife in for good when he made it 6-3 at the 9:26. Mike Rupp added a goal to make it 6-4 then Richards later added an empty-net goal to make it 7-4.

Leighton, this is becoming a reoccurring statement, once again put up a great performance for his team. He made huge saves during big moments of the game. Leighton stopped 35 shots on the night.

“It’s another step. We’ve got things going in the right direction,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think it’s important that we stick with what we’re doing and the identity that the guys are playing with. You throw one game out in the last eight, and the guys have played pretty hard. Because of that, we’ve gotten some results.”

Notes:

Controversy struck the Flyers late in the second period. Simon Gagne appeared to have scored a shorthanded goal until Toronto officials revealed a lack of common sense in clearly seeing when a puck crosses the goal line. Gagne snuck the puck through Johnson; however, since Johnson was wearing all black pads the puck got lost until replays showed Johnson bringing the puck back out from behind him.

Replay officials huh?

The Flyers will host the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow from the Wachovia Center in what is expected to be the return of Ray Emery…..Richards has at least one point in six of his last seven games.

Quotes: The Philadelphia Flyers and CSNPhilly

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Comments
2 Responses to “Statement: Flyers Stomp Pens 7-4”
  1. Matt says:

    the critics will say that this win dosent mean much because the pens are struggling. but a win over the pens is big for us no matter how they are playing. im starting to think maybe they are starting to “get it” under laviolette. they’ve got a couple weeks coming that are full of winnable games, lets hope they can keep it going.

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