PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chris Kunitz’s shootout goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh’s Alex Kovalev scored the first shootout goal. He was matched by Philadelphia’s Danny Briere. Kunitz got the final shootout attempt through the legs of Sergei Bobrovsky for the winner.
Philadelphia’s Mike Richards and Pittsburgh’s Tyler Kennedy scored goals in regulation.
The Flyers played in their fourth straight shootout and reached overtime for the fifth time in six games. They have won only one of those games that needed extra time and are losing their grip on the Eastern Conference lead.
The Penguins are five points out of the lead in the East and the Flyers hold a two-point lead over idle Washington.
The worn-down Flyers looked tired in overtime. The Penguins simply dominated and had possession for nearly the entire 5-minute period and attacked a battered Bobrovsky.
Bobrovsky clearly redeemed himself with a stellar outing in the loss.
Bobrovksy had a rough game Tuesday and was yanked after allowing three goals on nine shots. Flyers fans chanted “Booooosh” as Brian Boucher skated onto the ice. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette hasn’t committed to a playoff starter, but returning to Bobrovsky a game after a clunker could be a sign he’s leaning toward the rookie.
Bobrovsky made a stellar save early in the first period when he got low and staved off Kennedy with his left pad. Bobrovsky, who beat the Penguins on opening night, wouldn’t get lucky against him a second time.
Kennedy took the cross-ice pass from Kunitz and snapped a wrister from the circle and beat Bobrovsky glove side on the power play for his 18th goal of the season that tied the game at 1.
Flyers fans had given Bobrovsky a standing ovation after his stellar save on Kennedy.
The Flyers scored first when Richards scored a tricky goal that needed a review late in the first for a 1-0 lead. The puck hit skate-stick-net and took a fluky bounce over Marc-Andre Fleury’s shoulder for the early lead.
The Flyers took only 20 shots and couldn’t sustain a consistent attack.
For a heated rivalry — and with the season winding down — this game was pretty mild. Only a few brief skirmishes were quickly broken up and each team had a two tame power-play chances.
Kunitz provided enough excitement for the Penguins on the final shot of the shootout. He faked Bobrovsky with a wrister, then snapped one through the legs for the winner.
Notes: Penguins center Dustin Jeffrey left with a lower-body injury. He left at the end of the second period after a nasty collision with Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter. … The Flyers and Penguins play each other one more time on March 24.
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