NHL

Flyers complete season sweep of rival Penguins

The Flyers, already being eliminated from playoff contention, could only play spoiler when they took on the Penguins Saturday afternoon. They did just that by defeating Pittsburgh by a score of 4-1. The loss put the Penguins in a dangerous spot of also missing the playoffs.

The first period saw a lot of quality chances for the Penguins. Goaltender Steve Mason stood up to the test, making huge saves left and right. His biggest save of the afternoon came about six minutes into the first period. Mason made the original save on a shot by Nick Spaling, but gave up a rebound that found the stick of Craig Adams. Mason dove across the crease to rob Adams with the glove and kept the game scoreless.

The Penguins would get a lead in the first period, with their only goal of the game, on the power play. David Perron skated down the left-wing to create space in the offensive zone. He passed the puck to Brandon Sutter, who was by the goal line. Sutter found space underneath the stick of Mason and sent the puck just to the right of his pad to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers would tie things up with a power play goal of their own in the period. Mark Streit held the puck at the blue line before sending a pass over to Jakub Voracek. Voracek sent a one-timer over the right shoulder of goaltender Thomas Greiss to tie the game at 1-1.

The Flyers were heavily outshot in the first period, 22-4, but were able to come out of the period with a tie score. While being outshot the rest of the game, Philadelphia was able to keep the momentum going into the second and third period.

A power play about halfway through the second saw the Flyers get their first lead of the game. Streit started with the puck at the blue line before sending a pass to Voracek. Voracek then sent it over to Brayden Schenn who deflected the puck on net. The puck sailed into the air and over Greiss and the Penguins defense before finding its way into the back of the net, giving the Flyers the 2-1 lead.

That would be all the scoring for the second period. The third period featured chances for both teams, but the Flyers would be the only team to capitalize on them. The first came off the stick of Ryan White.

White’s goal was the only one scored at even strength for the Flyers. White skated around the back of the net, passing the puck to Sean Couturier on his way around. Couturier came around the other side and sent a pass across to White who easily put it in the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Sparks began to fly as the third period continued. The Flyers held the puck for a while after a delayed penalty on the ice. Chris Kunitz, the first Penguin to touch the puck, sent a shot on the empty net, after the whistle had blown. Claude Giroux did not take kindly to it as he flew across to ice to share that feeling with Kunitz. Voracek was also not pleased as he got himself involved as well. The ending of a semi-brawl saw Giroux off for roughing and Voracek with a ten-minute misconduct.

The Flyers would put the final nail in the coffin with about 10 seconds left in the contest, on yet another power play. Giroux started off by skating the puck into the offensive zone. He sent a pass over to Schenn, who then found Michael Del Zotto breaking towards the net. Del Zotto made no mistake, putting the puck in between the legs of Greiss to give the Flyers the 4-1 victory.

Mason made 46 saves in the effort, the second time he has done so this season. Voracek, with a goal and an assist, moved within two points of the NHL scoring lead. Del Zotto tied his career high in goals while adding to the six points he has over the last five games.

The Flyers return to home ice on Tuesday as they welcome in the New York Islanders. The game also signifies Fan Appreciation Night for the team. Puck-drop is set for 7 p.m.

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Ariel Melendez

Ariel Melendez is a junior, communication major at Cabrini College. Ariel is also the Sports Director for his school's radio station. Sports are a big passion of his and he loves watching and talking about every game that he sees.

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