Whether you want to call it the Keystone Clash, Battle of Pennsylvania or just Flyers vs. Penguins, the two teams have been a heated rivalry ever since their births back in 1967. Last night they renewed their hostilities for the 2013-2014 season in Philadelphia.
The two teams came out strong in the first period with each squad getting their chances to score. However, after twenty minutes of play the score remained 0-0. Just over ten minutes into the second period the Penguins got on the board with a goal from Jussi Jokinen, his fourth of the season. Chris Kunitz added another goal for Pittsburgh 12:13 into the period to give the Pens a 2-0 lead. Kunitz’s goal was his third of the season. Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers decided enough was enough as he cut the lead in half with a power play goal with only two seconds left in the second period making the score 2-1. Simmonds’ goal was his first of this season even though he has been playing very well through all eight of Philly’s games so far.
After a good second period by the Flyers they came out strong again in the third firing quality shots at Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fluery. The downside was that Philadelphia could not capitalize on the multiple rebounds that were coming their way in front of the opposing net. The Flyers looked as if they might tie the game but a breakdown of defense lead to a goal for the other team as the notoriously hated Sidney Crosby scored his sixth goal of the year to make it 3-1 Pittsburgh with just over three minutes left in the game. Evgeni Malkin would later add an empty netter for his third goal of the year making the score 4-1 Pittsburgh and that’s how the game would end.
The Flyers played well but lacked a complete 60 minute effort to beat the Penguins in the first of five meetings this year. Philly was also outshot 35-25. Flyers’ goaltender Steve Mason has not played bad this season but he lacks the offensive support from his team to win games. Philadelphia is off until October 24th of this when they host the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center. Until then the Flyers can only hope the season will get better as they now sit second to last in the Metropolitan Division with a 1-7 record.