Flyers Sweep the Pens in Home and Home
The Philadelphia Flyers took home 2 more points Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, in addition to the 2 points they claimed the day before in Philly. The Flyers were able to hold off the top Metropolitan team in back to back games and now sit in 2nd in the metro division pending the Rangers game later Sunday.
The Flyers came out Sunday exactly how they finished on Saturday, physical and puck control. Brayden Schenn opened up the scoring on the rebound after Fleury made a nice save against Wayne Simmonds.
Fleury kept the Penguins in the game but didn’t get much help in front of him causing him to give up 3 goals in the first period before getting hooked for backup goaltender Jeff Zakoff. The pull of Fleury wasn’t for poor performance but mostly for his on mercy. The Penguins defensive play was the definition of awful and didn’t give Fleury any help.
Close to the end of the 1st period, the Pens finally put in their first goal of the weekend after 77 minutes of play through the 2 games. The Pens came out of both games like a team that wasn’t playing their arch rival. The Flyers did.
It’s very odd for a team, even as good as the Pens, to come out flat against a rival as big as the Flyers. No matter what the record the two teams play as if it is game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pens didn’t convert a single power play over the weekend, going 0-9. Sidney Crosby, didn’t even register a point during the weekend.
The Flyers special teams were a big factor overall in the weekend sweep. Not only killing off all 9 penalties they committed but also converting on the power play themselves, going 3 for 7 over the weekend.
Claude Giroux had 4 assists during the series and is now tied for 4th in the league in points. Crazy to say after his slow start to the season. The captain is now back in the conversation as one of the top players in the league.
The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Flyers from this point on, starting on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Fly Guys have 15 games left on the season and are right in the mix to get into the playoffs. With the Metropolitan division so tight the 4 points gained this weekend have a huge factor. Now it’s just a matter of did the Flyers play well because it was the Penguins or was it just a normal pace of play to expect here on out? Tuesday is the tell all moment for that analysis.