PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins concluded their regular season with a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center.
While the win meant literally nothing in terms of the standings or playoff seeding, it did feature a couple of milestones for the Penguins.
First of all, the win was the first the Penguins have gotten over the Flyers at CONSOL Energy Center since the doors opened last year. The Flyers, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, were 5-0 coming into today’s contest. Now, both streaks are over as the teams prepare to meet in the playoffs this week.
Evgeni Malkin was sitting on 49 goals coming into the contest. It was clear very early on that the Penguins were going to do everything possible to help him reach the 50-goal plateau for the first time in his career.
That moment came with time winding down in the second period as he ripped a wrist shot by Bobrovsky from the slot to give the Penguins a 4-2 lead.
Malkin finished the season with 50 goals and 109 points.
All eyes were on this game after last week’s theatrics at the end of the game following a big, clean hit by Joe Vitale on Danny Briere.
Early in the first period, Vitale answered the bell and fought Harry Zolnierczyk. Vitale got the clear decision in the bout, but the rest of the game was rather uneventful.
Pascal Dupuis got the Penguins on the board at 5:33 of the first period after a great individual effort by Arron Asham.
Asham held off a Flyers’ defender and poked the puck back to Dupuis who was coming late into the play. Dupuis stepped into a one-timer and beat Bobrovsky to put Pittsburgh up 1-0. The goal extended Dupuis’ league-leading point streak to 17 games.
Brayden Schenn tied the game with 57 seconds left in the period after collecting a loose puck in the slot and firing it off the post and behind Marc-Andre Fleury.
In the second period, Chris Kunitz put the Penguins back in front with a quick, low shot that somehow squeaked through Bobrovsky’s pads and over the goal line.
Fleury started the game, but came out midway through the second period having allowed one goal on 15 shots. The move was made to get Fleury some work and a little rest before the playoffs start.
Brent Johnson came into the game and was immediately faced with a power play opportunity for the Flyers.
On cue, Jaromir Jagr scored on a wraparound to tie the game 2-2, but that would be the last goal the Flyers would get in the game.
Later in the period and with Jagr in the box for hooking, Sidney Crosby calmly took control of a rebound to Bobrovsky’s left and flicked a quick backhander into the gaping net for the eventual game-winning goal.
Johnson finished the game with five saves and picked up the win. Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 23 shots in the game.
The teams will now get a couple of days off to prepare for their playoff series, which will open up at CONSOL Energy Center this week.
The schedule for the series is expected to be released Sunday afternoon.
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