Flyers take 2-0 series lead over Penguins

Two of the highest scoring offenses in the regular season combined for a total of 13 goals last night as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-5 last night to take a 2-0 series lead.

Flyers forward Claude Giroux tallied three goals and three assists and set a franchise record for points in a playoff game. Rookie Sean Coutier had a hat trick as well as the Flyers scored seven goals in the final 35 minutes of the game to complete the comeback victory.

“When you’re able to come back in a game like that, again, I think it speaks volumes about the character in the room,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “Fighting back like that is not easy, and the players were just so resilient that it’s unbelievable, really.”

The Penguins had leads of 2-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 but still couldn’t hold on and claim victory. The team now travels to Philadelphia for two games where the Penguins hope to gain some ground on the road.

“We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes and we’re going to keep talking about it until we do,” said Penguins forward James Neal. “They’ve got a lot of great players, and they’re going to score goals. We just need to find a way to win, close out games, and play a full 60 minutes. It’s frustrating when we have such a good first period and we let it slip away.”

Special teams were a factor in the game as well. The Flyers scored two shorthanded goals on the Penguins and one on the power play. The Penguins tallied two on the power play as well.

Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov came up big for the Flyers, making several timely saves to keep the Flyers competitive – including a big glove save midway through the first on the penalty kill. Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr called the play the “save of the year.”

“Our special teams were good — a difference for sure,” said Flyers forward Maxim Talbot.

Going into Game 3 on the road with a 2-0 deficit, the Penguins know they need to do better managing their mistakes and holding onto early leads.

“We’ve got to find a way to be better with the lead. We know they’re going to keep coming,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who had one goal and one assists in more than 20 minutes of ice time. “We need to limit our mistakes. The mistakes we’ve made have ended up in our net.”

The Flyers will welcome the change of scenery as they travel back to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Sunday.

“It’ll be nice to get back to Philadelphia; we have the best fans in the League,” Laviolette said. “I hope they make some noise. It’ll be nice to see that wave of orange in the building instead of the white.”

Check out video of Bryzgalov’s incredible glove save here:

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