Sunday, January 24, 2010

Battle of Pennsylvania 09-10: Game 5

72 hours later from a disappointing showing against the hated rival Washington Capitals, the Penguins have to fight off their other hated rival on national TV in America. Leading up to the game, fans were told that Fleury was expected to start, but at the last minute, the switch was made for an unremarkable Brent "Johny" Johnson.

The first period was going to be tricky as to how the game developed into which personalities fans were going to see. The Penguins pushed and tugged, but the Flyers were determined to get underneath Crosby's skin once again. Then things got really weird. The first goal was struck by the Flyers on the power play with Crosby in the box for slashing. Brent Johnson makes a pee-wee mistake by not protecting the pipe allowing Jeff Carter to wrap it around the open space. Then as tempers flare up, the Flyers rush up to score a second goal. However, it occurred during an offsetting penalties involving Malkin and Asham. Since the Flyers were called for two minors, the goal was waived off and the Penguins given a power play. Gonchar let another shot from his stick go though Guerin's redirect swipe for a 1-1 tie.

The second period was just the opposite of the first. Both the Penguins and Flyers dumped their aggressive attack for a more puck possession style. Johnson seemed to get his head on straight during the 1st intermission while he utilized this glove grabbing a few shots out of the air. After 2 periods, the score remained 1-1.

When things turned around to the third period, fans had a sense that the next goal was going to be the result of a fluky bounce or a bad penalty. Then the real Flyers showed their true colors and again roughed up Crosby and company to get them off their game. It took two back to back penalty kills for the Penguins for them to sense any kind of counter attack. Even after a center ice brawl that showed the Penguins weren't going to turn the other cheek, the Flyers didn't back down from their stance. But with the time winding down, Timonen takes a critical penalty where Gonchar again rips another shot through screening traffic past Emery for the 2-1 lead. They eventually credit Cooke with the redirection.

So the Penguins pick up another crucial 2 points to keep pace with the rest of the Atlantic Division foes.
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