The Flyers finally found a deficit too big to overcome.
The Penguins took the lead late in the first period then poured it on with five goals in the second period en route to a 10-3 victory Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Instead of celebrating the Flyers’ first sweep of a playoff series in 17 years, the sellout crowd, or what remained of it at the end, could only hope that the Flyers flushed whatever was ailing them out of their system. The Flyers’ second chance to clodse out the series, in which they hold a 3-1 edge, will be Game 5 Friday night in Pittsburgh.
After coming from behind to win the first three games of the series, the Flyers made the “mistake” of scoring first. Claude Giroux scored just 1:16 into the game. The teams exchanged leads before the Penguins received goals from Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal late in the period to take a 4-3 lead.
After allowing a power play goal at the start of the second period, Ilya Bryzgalov was replaced in goal by Sergei Bobrovsky. The change in goal didn’t make any difference. Each goaltender allowed five goals on 18 shots.
The Penguins continued to pile up power plays and goals, finishing the second period with a 9-3 lead. Staal had complete his hat trick before the second period ended. Evgeni Malkin, scoreless during the first three games of the series, scored twice on Wednesday.
Unlike Game 3, there weren’t any fights. There were, however, a plethora of penalties.
With referees Chris Lee and Wes McCauley seemingly under instructions to call an extremely tight game, there were a ton of power plays. If you count Matt Carle’s penalty at the 20-minute mark of the first period as a second-period penalty — all of the penalty time was during the second period — the Penguins had seven power plays during the second period. At times, it looked as if the Penguins were practicing their power play.
The Flyers need to tighten up their game before Friday’s game in Pittsburgh.The goaltending has to be better, the defense has to be able to get the puck out of the zone and the offense must put the pressure back on the Penguins defense and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Jakub Voracek and Kimmo Timonen scored for the Flyers. Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann left Wednesday’s game with an undisclosed injury.