PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins turns to see a shot by Scott Hartnell #19 of the Philadelphia Flyers go into the net for a goal in the second period of an NHL hockey game at Wells Fargo Center on December 8, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA -- Tonight's game was supposed to be taken over by Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr, the two old Penguins who betrayed that
fine city and its lovely people. They were supposed to score nine goals a piece, break some faces in and make little kids on the other side of the state cry themselves to sleep.
It didn't happen. Talbot and Jagr both had wonderful games, and Jagr came about a foot from wrapping up the game with an empty net goal at the end. Talbot had his chances, too. But they didn't take over the game, and they didn't make the story about themselves on this night when we all kinda thought they would.
Instead, it was another Flyer -- previously Public Enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh, now presumably Public Enemy No. 3 -- that left his mark. His name is Scott Fartsmell, or as he's called in Philadelphia, Scott Hartnell. His goal in the second period made the score 3-0, but it turned out to be the game-winner, and man, was it the quintessential Scott Hartnell goal. Crashing the net, falling down on his way in. Perfect.
Better yet? The Flyers are your new leaders in the Eastern Conference after tonight's win. Enjoy that flight to Long Island, Penguins. We'll see you in a few weeks. More after the jump.-- The Flyers definitely let off the gas pedal in the third period as the Pens tried to get back into it, perhaps the effect of playing the second half of a back to back. Early in the game, though, there was no detecting that. The Flyers were all over Pittsburgh in the first and second periods, and the only reason this game was close was Marc-Andre Fleury.
- Evgeni Malkin sucks. Video evidence:
-- Max Talbot is kind of the man. Talking about Marc-Andre Fleury: "He did the little scream after he does every save. He goes 'woo' and I was always on the right side of that, but it pissed me off tonight."
-- Ilya Bryzgalov looked really, really solid tonight. He seemed to be tracking the puck better than he has, and there didn't seem to be any ill effects of playing the second half of a back-to-back.
-- Was Danny Briere's first period goal the weirdest goal you've ever seen or what?
-- The Flyers killed a 5-on-3 in the first period in which two of their players had broken their sticks, effectively turning the Pittsburgh advantage to a 5-on-1. We'll have to thank Chris Kunitz for that, partially. Put him on your Christmas card list.
Questions with Answers
- How long until the first Crosby Sucks chant tonight, even though he's not even in the building? It took 3 minutes, two seconds of game time.
- How many hat tricks does Jaromir Jagr score? 88.
- How many faces does Max Talbot break? I lost count at 643.
- What's the one thing that happens in the game that we should look forward to seeing on HBO next week? Not from tonight's game, but uh.... this.
Comment of the Night
There once was a guy named Briere
About whom you should probably care
He scored on Fleury
It wasn't bore-y
The Penguins just have no skill there.
This new guy who is on the ice
He just took a roll of the dice
His name is Wayne
He rides on the train
He put the puck in the net, quite nice.
Our curly haired ginger Hartnell
Whose skills are starting to gel
Fell down on his butt
But then what, oh what...
He scored a goal as he fell.