Flyers vs. Penguins recap: Philly takes care of business, dominates depleted Pens

Katie Spence/BSH

The Flyers embarrassed a depleted Penguins team on Saturday, putting up four goals en route to a dominant shutout win.

PHILADELPHIA -- There are two ways to look at Saturday's dominant 4-0 win over the Penguins.

  1. The Flyers took care of their business and rolled over a team that's been decimated by injuries to top players. Something to be proud of.

  2. Pittsburgh was depleted so badly that they never really had a chance, and any competitive NHL team would've beaten them today. The Flyers effort was nothing special; it was to be expected given the circumstances

We should take the first view, and here's why: It wasn't as if the Flyers snuck by the Penguins today, who were without major contributors James Neal, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz. The Flyers blew the decimated Penguins out of the water, scoring four goals -- two from Matt Read, one from Scott Hartnell and one from Vincent Lecavalier -- and probably deserving at least a few more.

They faced the league's best special teams units and went 1-for-4 on the power play, 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, and scored a shorthanded goal. They put 40 shots on goal to Pittsburgh's 25, and they took 61.7 percent of all shot attempts in the game.

They completely shut down Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, two players who can still be completely dominant no matter who they're playing with. This happened:

When the Penguins did get chances, the Flyers defense made it easy on Steve Mason, who probably recorded the easiest shutout of his NHL career today. The stretch passing and play through the neutral zone was as good as it's been all year.

This was probably the best game the Flyers played this season, and it doesn't matter that the Penguins were weaker than they usually are. They've had injuries for a while now, and they haven't been losing games this badly.

For the time being, the win puts the Flyers back into the top three in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the second-place Rangers with two games in hand. They jumped one point ahead of Columbus, two ahead of Detroit and three ahead of Washington.

Let's do it again tomorrow, guys. This game means nothing without another win in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.

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