On Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Wells Fargo Center (12:30 pm ET, NBC) – here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.
Philadelphia: 41-23-8, 3rd in Atlantic Division.
Leading scorer: Claude Giroux (26G-56A-82PTS)
Pittsburgh: 44-21-5, 2nd in Atlantic Division.
Leading scorer: Evgeni Malkin (40G-47A-87PTS)
Dec. 8, 2011 – Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2. This was Pittsburgh’s first contest after Sidney Crosby’s initial eight-game comeback attempt. At the time, the Penguins were hoping that this was just one of two games Crosby would miss for precautionary reasons, but that proved not to be the case.
Going into this contest, Pittsburgh held first place in the Atlantic Division, but the Flyers’ had reduced their lead to one point during their three-game winning streak. Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead with goals from Danny Briere, Wayne Simmonds, and Scott Hartnell. James Neal and Evgeni Malkin each scored in the second half of the contest, but it was too little, too late. Philadelphia took the Division lead and would hold onto that title for a few weeks before the New York Rangers dethroned them.
Dec. 29, 2011 – Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 2. Jaromir Jagr made his return to Pittsburgh a memorable one. After Jordan Staal and Kimmo Timonen exchanged goals in the first period, Jagr broke the 1-1 tie at 6:03 of the second period, and then turned to the crowd to give them a salute.
Things went downhill from there for the Penguins.
Matt Read scored what would be the winning goal roughly 10 minutes later. Tyler Kennedy brought the Penguins back within one before Philadelphia’s Maxime Talbot, who was also making his return to Pittsburgh, scored with just 25 seconds left on the clock.
This loss brought an end to the Penguins’ four-game winning streak. Over the span of a month, Pittsburgh had gone from leading its division to being two points behind both the Flyers and the Rangers.
Feb. 18, 2012 – Pittsburgh 6, Philadelphia 4. It took three tries, but the Penguins finally beat the Flyers. Matt Cooke was the hero for Pittsburgh, scoring two goals and three points in the contest. Cooke and Jordan Staal both netted shorthanded goals just 1:43 minutes apart in the second period.
After the second Penguins shorthanded goal, which occurred at 16:57 of the second period, Ilya Bryzgalov was yanked from the game. In one of his many interesting interviews throughout the season, Bryzgalov suggested that he was a “scapegoat” while also admitting that he was frustrated with his game. Bryzgalov would start in four more contests before he began a seven-game winning streak that included four shutouts.
Although this was ultimately a game the Flyers would probably like to forget, it was another big one for Jagr. He scored twice in the losing effort and currently has more goals against Pittsburgh this season than any other team.