Talbot's third period goal insured a Pittsburgh victory
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A few goals, a fight, a video review gone wrong and in the end a victory - just another playoff game in the end right?
The Penguins extended their postseason home record to a flattering 7-0, breaking a franchise record set by the '91 cup-winning squad, with a 4-2 victory over the Flyers Sunday night at Mellon Arena.
Unlike the first period in Game 1 on Friday, the scoring was minimal to begin with. Kennedy and Upshall didn't waste any time throwing down mitts in the first, sending both off to the box for fighting. Residential Pensburgh fight expert Dunman takes a closer look here. Roughly seven minutes later on the second power play of the night, Sidney Crosby capitalized with the man advantage just seconds after a 5-on-3 turned into a 5-on-4 for Pitt. That would be it for red lights in the first.
Heading into the second up 1-0, the Pens were hoping to widen the gap with another notch. Unfortunately for Pitt, the Flyers responded quickly with a goal of their own from the blade of Jeff Carter.
Tied at one, Sidney Crosby tried to jam one in past Biron in what appeared to be a goal. Crosby raised his hands in celebration, but halfway through doing so immediately argued to the ref that the puck was in when the light failed to go on. Review went to the War Room in Toronto for further review. Fans got a solid look at the (potential) goal from different angles, one of which seemed very evident that the puck did in fact cross the crease. Biased Penguins eyes would say it was a goal, Flyers eyes would say it was not and strict hockey fans without allegiance to either team would say it was too close to call. In efforts to avoid a controversial game-changing call, the refs officially called it a no-goal and play resumed.
Moments later, on the power play, Marian Hossa grabs the puck on a rebound in front of Biron to put the Pens ahead 2-1. That wouldn't last long.
With less than 30 seconds remaining in the second, Pittsburgh entered Philly's zone with the man advantage to try and put the game out of reach heading into the third. Malkin tried to dish a pass back to the point for Gonchar, where it was scooped up by Philly's Mike Richards for a breakaway run. Shorthanded on the drive with Fleury twitching uncomfortably in net, Richards released a fast wrister that blew by Fleury glove-side to tie the game at two moving into the third.
But the Penguins would not give up. In his first game back since suffering a broken foot in the New York series, Max Talbot changed the course of the game for good. Following Steve Downie's flub along the boards in attempts to clear the zone, Gary Roberts kept the puck in and followed it to the back of the net. In a no-look centering pass, Talbot threaded the puck into the back of the net, moving the Penguins up to a 3-2 lead.
That would wind up being all the flightless birds would need in this match, further insured by the empty net marker from Jordan Staal to close out the game and send the series back to Philly.
Two consecutive 4-2 victories would say the Penguins have taken a commanding series lead. What it won't say is that these wins were hard-fought and well-earned by the time the final horn sounded the end. Considering the regular season series between these two cross-state rivals, home-ice advantage was expected to play a huge factor over the course of the post-season. As the Battle of Keystone heads back to Philly, the Penguins will look to complete a sweep, while Philly plans to even up the series and send it back to Pitt. As many fans from both sides have expressed, this series is far from over.