PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) — The surging Philadelphia Flyers picked
up where they left off against Carolina.
Mike Knuble scored two power-play goals Saturday, sparking the
Flyers to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Flyers were coming off Thursday’s 6-5 shootout win over the
Hurricanes in which they erased a 5-1 deficit in the third.
Philadelphia carried the momentum into Saturday’s matinee,
jumping to a 2-0 lead in the first period and adding three more
goals in the second.
“We learned as a group the lesson from the last game and trying
to implement a game plan right our of the gate,” Knuble said.
“We did that. The first 10 minutes of the game was all special
teams. We got big kills and big power-play goals and that does a
lot for the team’s confidence.”
The Flyers created havoc around the net, scoring five goals from
close range, and buried the Penguins with a potent power play
that scored four three times with the man advantage. The Flyers
entered the contest tied with Boston for the league’s third-most
effective power-play unit.
“We had energy, which I am not sure would have been the case had
we not come all the way back and won the game (Thursday),”
Flyers coach John Stevens said.
“That’s my job – to be around the net on the power play,” Knuble
added. “We have smart players who throw the puck it in there at
the right time and will find your stick.”
Philadelphia has just one regulation loss in its last 16 games,
improving to 12-1-3 during that span.
“The past 15 to 16 games, we have been playing very well,” said
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who recorded a career-high four
assists – all on the power play. “We have been forechecking and
we are working hard. Everybody is coming back and we aren’t
giving up much. Early in the season we gave up too many odd-man
chances. Now everyone is working both ways.”
The Penguins crushed the New York Islanders, 9-2, on Thursday,
but continue to be hamnpered by uneven play. Pittsburgh has
dropped four of its last five games and is just 5-6-1 in its
last 12 contests.
On Saturday, the Penguins were playing their third game in four
days and seemed a step slow. They fell behind less than six
minutes into the contest and never recovering.
“We wanted a better effort,” Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby
said. “We knew that they have a strong power play and we wanted
to get out of the box and we never got over it. These are big
games standings-wise and they are intense games and you should
be ready for this one. We just didn’t do the job here today.”
Philadelphia goaltender Martin Biron stopped 23 shots, allowing
Jordan Staal’s redirection goal 7:08 into the second and two
goals in the third period after the contest was out of reach.
Pittsburgh’s Eric Godard’s tallied his first goal of the season
with 8:54 left in the third to make it 5-2.
Joffrey Lupul and Jeff Carter also scored on the power play for
the Flyers, who have won four straight to take over second place
in the Atlantic Division.
Carter registered his 21st of the season – one behind Buffalo’s
Thomas Vanek for the league lead.
Pittsburgh netminder Dany Sabourin allowed five goals while
facing only 19 shots through 40 minutes. He finished with 21