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Strange comfort: Flyers win again in Pittsburgh

Sun 1st, April 2012

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers seem to enjoy playing at CONSOL Energy Center.

After falling behind by a pair of goals early, the Flyers responded with five consecutive goals and took a critical 6-4 victory over the Penguins on Sunday.

The Flyers improved to 5-0-0 at the Pens' new home rink since the building opened in October of 2010.

Claude Giroux finished with a goal and two assists, Jakub Voracek had two goals and an assist, former Penguin Max Talbot scored and added a helper, while Wayne Simmonds and Marc-Andre Bourdon also lit the lamp for Philadelphia, which bounced back from a 4-3 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Sergei Bobrovsky posted 43 stops in the win.

With the victory, the Flyers pulled to within one point of the Pens for fourth place -- and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs -- in the Eastern Conference.

"They're good games," Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said of the rivalry with Pittsburgh. "They go up and down and they're competitive. That's what we were lacking a bit in the first period, we weren't as competitive as we needed to be."

Steve Sullivan scored twice, Chris Kunitz had a goal and an assist and James Neal added a tally for the Penguins, who have lost three of their last four.

Marc-Andre Fleury was tagged for five goals on 25 shots in the loss.

Philadelphia began its five-goal assault with 4:51 left in the first frame. Giroux, holding the puck along the left wing wall, battled through two Pens checkers, worked his way to the high slot and fired a shot on net that just squeezed through the legs of Fleury with Scott Hartnell screening.

The Flyers tied the game at two 1:25 into the second period. Sean Couturier fired a weak shot from the right point that was gloved down in the slot by Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo's shot from the right side appeared to be going wide until it was tipped by Talbot at the opposite post.

Skating on the man advantage, the Flyers took the lead for good 2:35 into the third period. Giroux whipped a pass from the left-wing wall to the right circle for Voracek, who then one-timed a quick feed to the side of the net, resulting in an easy tap-in for Simmonds and a 3-2 Philadelphia lead.

Voracek made it 4-2 at 6:37 of the third frame after he corralled a home run pass from Eric Wellwood behind two Pens defenders, went in on goal and beat Fleury with a backhander

Bourdon pushed the Flyers edge to three when he got a feed from Giroux off a left-circle faceoff win and ripped a quick shot from the point off the far post and in.

"It's two fast teams and two teams that can make plays," Giroux said. "We have to make sure that we have a better start, but we do a pretty good job of coming back."

Sullivan got his second of the game with 4:42 to go when he ripped a wrist shot past Bobrovsky off a feed from Pascal Dupuis, but Voracek got it right back for Philadelphia on an empty-netter with 1:15 left.

The game devolved into a line brawl in the final 63 seconds, as both teams came together as a result of a Brayden Schenn cross-check of Sidney Crosby -- a scrum which resulted in 15 infractions totaling 52 penalty minutes.

"Sidney took exception to a hit," Bylsma said of the scrum. "There were 10 guys joined together near center ice and, from what I can gather, their coach didn't like a hit, took a stick and broke it over the glass, and that stick ended up in our bench."

Kunitz made it 6-4 with a power-play goal with 32 seconds to go, but it was too late for the Penguins.

"I think we did some really good things," Crosby said. "The big thing for us is that we made some big mistakes. We had some good chances, but we can't afford to make mistakes and expect to win."

Pittsburgh wasted no time opening the scoring, finding the back of the net just 1:14 into the contest. Crosby sent a pass from the right corner to the slot for Sullivan, who snapped a wrist shot that hit off a Flyer in front and floated past Bobrovsky.

It was 2-0 at the 4:58 mark after Evgeni Malkin collected a loose puck behind the net, wheeled out front and sent a pass to the tape of Neal, who easily chipped it over the shoulder of Bobrovsky.

Game Notes

Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury after absorbing a knee-to-knee hit...The Flyers reached the 100-point plateau for the 19th time in franchise history, which ties the Boston Bruins for the most 100-point seasons in NHL history...It was the 10th time this season the Flyers have come from two goals down or more to earn at least one point...It was Voracek's second three-point game of the season...Crosby, Malkin and Dupuis finished with two assists apiece for the Penguins...The teams combined for 68 total PIM.

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