Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh at the 12:13 of the second period to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead, as they would eventually hold on to beat the Flyers 4-1 Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Kunitz’s game winning goal came off a rebound from Pascal Dupuis. Defenseman Matt Nikanen also assisted on the goal. Pittsburgh’s first goal came from Jussi Jokinen and was assisted by Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins got their insurance goal from Sidney Crosby off a redirection from Dupuis. Malkin scored an empty net goal from Craig Adams and Crosby to ice the game. Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury had a stellar night, making 24 saves. Penguins won their third straight and go for four in a row Saturday versus Vancouver.
For the Flyers, Wayne Simmonds scored the only goal on the power play, late in the second period from Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn. Steve Mason was busy all night, stopping 31 of 34, but his defense continued to let him down. The Flyers have now lost four in a row, with the New York Rangers a week away.
The Flyers were never really in the game, as the Penguins looked superior from the jump.
The Penguins played a stout defensive game, blocking XX Flyer shots and rarely giving the Flyers a good shot on net. When the Flyers had an opportunity, Fleury was there to shut the door.
The cross-state rivals played a tight first period, but the second period, the offense and forechecking of the Penguins awoke.
The Flyers turned the puck over at their blue line, where Malkin found Jokinen for the first goal of the game and Jokinen’s fourth of the season at 9:43.
Just over two minutes later at 12:13, the Penguins came knocking at the door again as Kunitz knocked in a rebound from a Niskanen shot.
The Flyers finally got on the board at 19:58 of the second period as Simmonds tipped a Giroux shot from the circle over Fleury’s head to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1 heading into the decisive period.
Philadelphia came out strong to start the third, but after not scoring on a pair of power plays, the Penguins took the power back and would score an insurance goal at 17:28 to end any hopes of a comeback.
Malkin scored an empty net goal at 19:47 to finish of the scoring for the Penguins.