PITTSBURGH (AP) — This almost never happens in an NHL playoff
game, a team going on a two-man advantage in overtime. Maybe
that was all Bill Guerin needed to do something he had never
Guerin scored his second goal of the game for Pittsburgh, which
rallied twice against Philadelphia and then won after been given
a rare two-man edge in an extra period. The Penguins earned a
3-2 victory Friday night to go up two games in the first-round
Guerin, at 38 the oldest player on a mostly young team, took
Sergei Gonchar’s pass from center point and skated toward the
net from the low left circle, faked a pass and beat goalie
Martin Biron on a shot that deflected off the left post and into
the net 18:29 into overtime. It was the first game-winning
playoff goal in Guerin’s 17-season career.
“There’s a first time for everything, I guess,” said Guerin, who
was traded by the last-place Islanders to the Penguins at the
March 4 trade deadline. “It was a thrill for me to come over
here. This was a big win for us.”
Guerin also scored the goal that tied it at 1 late in the second
period, and Evgeni Malkin tied it at 2 with 3:37 remaining in
the third after rookie Darroll Powe’s goal put the determined
Flyers up early in the period.
The Penguins will take a 2-0 series lead to Philadelphia for
Game 3 on Sunday, as they did in winning last year’s Eastern
Conference finals against the Flyers.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other playoff
game since at least 1933 decided by a two-man advantage overtime
goal came in 2003, when Tampa Bay beat Washington 4-3 on Vincent
Lecavalier’s goal 2:21 into the extra session.
“You don’t see it too often,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
said. “You have to see a play like a broken stick or a clear
high stick or something like that, but we’ll take it and move
The overtime game was the first between the in-state rivals
since Keith Primeau’s goal decided the Flyers’ 2-1, five-OT win
that started on May 4, 2000, and ended in the early morning
hours of May 5. That game was the NHL’s longest in the last 73
This game was much shorter. And much harder to take for the
The Flyers initially went on the power play in overtime when
Penguins defenseman Hal Gill was called for cross-checking, but
an identical penalty on Mike Knuble and a slashing call on
Claude Giroux 30 seconds later gave Pittsburgh a two-man edge
that would have lasted 1:29. Guerin scored with 27 seconds left
in the two-man.
“My stick broke and I was just trying to jam his (Chris
Kunitz’s) stick,” Giroux said. “The refs saw that the stick
broke so they had to call it. I was just trying to make sure he
doesn’t get the pass and I guess I went a little too hard and it
broke. I let down the guys here and I’ve got to put that behind
me. It’s a dumb play.”
Philadelphia avoided the numerous penalties and breakdowns it
had in the 4-1 loss in Game 1 and were in position to tie the
series after rookie Powe’s go-ahead goal, only to get tripped up
again by penalties.
“We certainly proved to ourselves that we can play,” coach John
Stevens said. “We did a lot of good things. But it’s tough —
it’s tough, but we’ll regroup.”
Of going down two men, Jeff Carter said, “It’s tough, but
they’re going to call what they’re going to call.”
The Penguins, given their third power play in regulation after
having eight Wednesday, tied it at 16:23 of the third when Kris
Letang’s shot from the point deflected off Malkin and past Biron
for Malkin’s second of the series.
Pittsburgh created the overtime only because goalie Marc-Andre
Fleury made an improbable save several minutes before,
scrambling from one side of the crease to the other to stick out
his right skate and deflect Carter’s shot toward an unguarded
side of the net.
“I was a little far from the puck on that, I was in a bad spot
so I just tried to get my pads over there and it hit my toe,”
The Flyers responded the way Stevens said they needed to
following their undisciplined Game 1 loss. They didn’t worry
about retaliating or sending messages or trying to outhit
Pittsburgh, only trying to beat them — and it nearly worked.
They pressed the play from the start, got the important first
goal from Scott Hartnell, then kept pressuring even after
Pittsburgh tied it on Guerin’s 29th career playoff goal. His
30th would be even bigger.
The Flyers came back to take a 2-1 lead when Powe, playing more
because oft-penalized forward Dan Carcillo was suspended for a
shot to Max Talbot’s head with seconds remaining in Game 1,
steered a wrist shot from the left circle past Fleury 2:09 into
Powe is a former Princeton player who had six goals during the
season, one an empty-netter during the Flyers’ 3-1 win in
Pittsburgh on March 22.
Philadelphia’s under-control persistence finally paid off with
Hartnell’s power-play goal at 13:26 of the first and only its
fifth lead after the first period in 26 games.
“It’s disappointing for sure. We did all the right things,”
captain Mike Richards said.
The way the Flyers kept pressuring, the Penguins were in
jeopardy of leaving Pittsburgh tied two games into a playoff
series for the first time since they lost to Montreal in six
games in 1998. But they tied it after coach Dan Bylsma put
Malkin and Crosby on the same line, and it paid off with
Guerin’s first goal.