, with a 5-1 victory at PPG Paints Arena, intensifying the Battle of Pennsylvania in the process.
Don Cherry called Thursday night. Once again reflecting back upon ‘his way’ of coaching, Cherry pointed the finger at Pittsburgh saying, “How dare you embarrass a team like that?”. In reference to how he would coach the game, Cherry spoke about limiting the goals for, and how the losing team would come out angry in the next game of the series, looking for revenge.
True to his word, the Flyers came out on fire Friday night, putting up five goals, as compared to the Penguins’ one, en route to knotting up the series one game a piece.
Led by captain Claude Giroux and Winnipegger Nolan Patrick, Philadelphia played like a team possessed, putting up goal after goal, while delivering solid check after solid check.
Although seemingly inadvertently, Giroux ran into Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, sending him head over heels and onto his face in a scary play midway through the contest. Patrick Hornqvist also tumbled facefirst into the dasher boards at the end of the rink, following a check from Andrew MacDonald.
On the night that the Brandon Wheat Kings found themselves eliminated from the WHL playoffs, former Wheaties, Winnipeg’s Nolan Patrick and defenceman Ivan Provorov helped the Flyers take it to the Penguins.
Patrick – who put up two goals and five points in his last five games of the regular season – scored an easy tap in following a beautiful no-look, between-the-legs pass from linemate Sean Cuturier, which extended Philadelphia’s lead.
Patrick also had another shot on goal, threw a hit and won five face-offs in nearly 15 minutes of ice time Friday night. Provorov had two assists, three hits, and a takeaway, while skating for 27:30 on the Flyers’ back end.
Patrick finished the 2017-18 season (his rookie campaign) with 13 goals and 30 points in 73 games played. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound centreman will look to add to those totals in Philadelphia’s remaining postseason games. The now-tied series now shifts to Philly for games three and four, beginning Sunday afternoon.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Chris Szagola