Article by: Zach Henley
One day before the important game on Saturday, Philadelphia fans were informed that young goalie Carter Hart would be ruled out due to a leg injury suffered Thursday night in Montreal. Hart, an important piece to the Flyers’ recent success, was replaced by former starter Brian Elliot. The game, overshadowed by the excitement of the environment, was an important one that would potentially foreshadow the playoff picture. Currently, both teams are out of the playoff race, with Pittsburgh just outside the cut line. One of the biggest games of the season was also Claude Giroux’s 800th career game for the Flyers.
At the eight-minute mark, Pittsburgh’s star center, Sidney Crosby, scored his 26th goal of the season to get his team a good start. Four minutes later, Sean Couturier tied the game for the Flyers with his 25th goal of the season. During the course of the game, there were plenty of aggressive hits. The Flyers’ veteran right wing, Wayne Simmonds took a shot at Pittsburgh’s Brian Dumoulin, which resulted in penalty time and a scuffle between the teams. Dumoulin would quickly recover, and he skated off the ice under his own power.
In a defensive minded second period, Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz, supported the only offense in the game scoring his first goal of the season at the halfway point of the period. Rain started coming down relatively hard during this point of the game, which made the ice very sticky and slick. This would eventually cause problems for both teams as they had to overcome the rain and try their best to play. Seven minutes into the third period, Evgeni Malkin scored his 19th goal of the season, and extended their lead to 3-1. With three minutes left in the third period, James van Riemsdyk scored his 16th goal to trim the deficit to 3-2. Pittsburgh started playing less defense, which prompted the Flyers to start playing more aggressively and out skating them on the ice. With 20 seconds left in the game, Jakub Voracek scored the tying goal and forcing the game into overtime.
Two minutes into overtime, Claude Giroux scored the game winning goal and sealed the win for Philadelphia. As the crowd roared, the Flyers saluted the crowd who stuck through the rain and walked off the ice, with this win hopefully being a turning point for the Flyers at this part of the season.
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