PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Philadelphia Flyers finally put away their arch nemeses, the Pittsburgh Penguins, after failing to do so on two previous chances, in Game Six of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 5-1 and won the series in six games. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists and played like the captain of the team. The Flyers will now wait and see who their next opponent is, but will take the upcoming days off after a nasty series finally is put to rest.
Just 32 seconds into the game, Jaromir Jagr stole the puck and center ice but couldn’t hold onto the puck. The Penguins tried to clear the puck but Claude Giroux intercepted it and blasted a shot past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the face-off circle to the right of Fleury and the Flyers took a quick 1-0 lead. The Penguins came right back after the goal to make life heck in the Flyers zone and pressured Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov with seven unanswered shots before the Pens got into penalty trouble to change the momentum of the game.
The Flyers had 11 power play goals heading into the game and Scott Hartnell made them pay again. Jakub Voracek made a cross ice pass to Giroux at the same face-off circle he scored at before but Fleury made the same, but the puck wasn’t covered in the crease. Voracek converged onto the crease but Hartnell was already there to slam the puck home for a 2-0 lead and things were looking up for Philadelphia after the first period
Rookie Erik Gustafsson took the puck from his own blueline and skated in on Fleury uncontested and blasted a shot past Fleury to give the Flyers a 3-0 led 5:25 into the second period. The Penguins did come back to make the score 3-1 but not before Sean Couturier stole the puck from Sidney Crosby and went in on Fleury with a backhand shot that Fleury stopped but Evgeni Malkin took the puck end-to-end and blasted a shot by Bryzgalov and got the Pens back into the game 3:09 after Gustafsson’s goal.
That would be as close as the Penguins would get to catching the Flyers the rest of the game. The Flyers went in on a 3-on-2 break when Voracek took a pass at the Penguins blueline from Danny Briere and skated in just behind the Penguins goal line and backhanded a pass to Briere who took a shot that Fleury again made the save on but left it sitting in the crease. Briere skated behind the net and tapped in his own rebound to seemingly put the game out of reach at 4-1 only 36 seconds after Malkin’s goal.
The Flyers outshot the Penguins 20-19 after two periods but the Pens outshot the Flyers 12-3 in the third period. Despite being outshot Bryzgalov saw very few quality shots and was never really tested the whole game. Braydon Schenn put the finishing touches on the game and the series with an empty net goal with 8 seconds left in the game. Hartnell’s power play goal set a franchise record for playoff goals in a series and Giroux set a franchise mark for most points in a series. Bryzgalov made 30 saves on 31 shots while Fleury made 18 saves on 22 shots.