PITTSBURGH -- The Flyers got lucky Wednesday night. Very lucky.
While they did eke out a hard-fought and meaningful 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (see story), early on in the game, it didn’t at all seem like things would go their way. In fact, if not for an early disallowed goal, they wouldn’t have.
Right off the opening faceoff, the Penguins charged into the Flyers’ zone, peppering goalie Ray Emery with three quick shots. The third shot, just 19 seconds after the first puck had dropped, went in off the skate of Pens winger Chris Kunitz.
The review showed Kunitz had kicked the puck past Emery, however, and the goal was discounted. The fortunate Flyers were awarded a do-over -- and they took advantage of it.
“Yeah, we might have been sleeping a little bit there on the first one,” Brayden Schenn said. “We got a lucky break there, a kick-in goal. It woke us up a little bit.”
When Emery realized the puck had soared past him, he was visibly displeased, despite the fact that he had an idea it might have been kicked in.
“I thought he kind of did, but he was stopping too, so you never know,” Emery said. “It’s a good break.”
That goal, though, jarred the Flyers out of their slumber. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back set of games, the Flyers were slow at first to respond to the Pens’ pressure.
But not after their early misstep.
“I think they came out really hard, and sometimes the back to back, you kind of want to ease into the game,” Emery said. “We definitely weren’t allowed to do that tonight with the way the game was.”
Schenn the producer
After his two goals Wednesday, Schenn is second on the Flyers with five goals. The recent performances from the young Flyer are exactly what the team has been waiting to see from him.
It should be mentioned that Schenn will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season, so he obviously has a lot to play for. And it’s showing.
“He produces,” coach Craig Berube said. “He’s good around the net, puts pucks on net. He’s one of those guys that knows how to score, knows how to get points and help the team win by producing.”
.500 under Chief
By beating the Penguins, the Flyers finally reached the .500 mark -- at least, under their current coach. They’re 7-10-1 on the season, and 7-7-1 under Berube, who laughed when he was told of the achievement.
“Hopefully we can get beyond that,” he said.
Wednesday’s game marked the first time the Flyers held the Penguins to just one goal since a 3-1 victory at the Pens’ old home, the Mellon Arena, on March 22, 2009. The Penguins had scored two or more goals against the Flyers 23 consecutive times since then.
The Flyers were credited with just one turnover in the game, compared to Pittsburgh’s 10.
“You can’t turn the puck over against this team, or else they’re going to make you pay,” Schenn said. “So we did a pretty good job on that, and the more we do that, the less chances we’re going to give up.”
The Flyers had 31 hits, meaning they’ve had 30 or more hits in five consecutive games and seven of their last eight games. … Adam Hall was 7 for 8 on faceoffs (88 percent). He has lost just three faceoffs in his last four games.