PITTSBURGH -- Boy, these Flyers are greedy, aren’t they?
Anyone would have been happy with a weekend split against Pittsburgh, the No. 1 club in the Metropolitan Division.
Instead, the Flyers swept the home-and-home series with the Penguins, winning 4-3 Sunday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center. It was the first time the Flyers swept the Penguins in back-to-back games since Jan. 21-23, 2006.
Craig Berube’s team had a strong, solid start to the game and then let up, possibly thinking this was going to be a repeat of Saturday’s 4-0 shutout win over the Penguins in Philly and it wasn’t.
The Flyers chased Penguins starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury barely 14 minutes into the game with three goals on 15 shots.
Two of those goals came on the power play.
The Flyers led 3-0 and 4-2 at one point, but they were on their heels in the second period and saw Pittsburgh whittle it down to 4-3 late in that period after a neutral zone turnover by Michael Raffl that led to a 2-on-1 goal from Jayson Megna.
A stronger third period by the Flyers was the difference, but they also played a bit of the trap, too.
Jeff Zatkoff relieved Fleury and finished the game for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins thought Chris Kunitz (lower body) would be available, but he did not dress.
The Pens had last change and coach Dan Bylsma opted for Evgeni Malkin against Sean Couturier and Sidney Crosby against Claude Giroux, the opposite of what Berube did on Saturday when he had the final say. By the third period, however, Berube had his way with the matchups.
The Flyers scored twice in the first seven minutes of play for a 2-0 lead on Pittsburgh. In Saturday’s game in Philly, the Flyers scored twice in the first eight minutes of play.
Brayden Schenn notched his 17th goal at 2:06 with a rebound shot in the slot for the Flyers' first goal Fleury had made a glove stop on Wayne Simmonds but left the rebound in the slot. Credit the soft hands of Vinny Lecavalier for the pass that began the play. It was also Schenn’s first goal in seven games.
Pens defenseman Robert Bortuzzo took exception to Scott Hartnell’s clean check on Lee Stempniak and went after him. Hartnell did not retaliate and drew a penalty setting up the Flyers' first power play and subsequent first goal of the game from Simmonds.
The Penguins failed twice to clear a puck in the slot and got burned. Simmonds, screening in front, redirected Kimmo Timonen’s point shot at 6:47, making it 2-0. The Penguins just stood around and watched the Flyers on the power play, almost intimidated into moving. They allowed the Flyers to bully them.
Flyers finished 2 for 3 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 4.
Simmonds on fire
He has 21 goals. Twelve of his goals have come on the power play. He also has 20 power-play points.
Claude Giroux leads the Flyers with 30.
Matt Read had a huge weekend against the Penguins with three goals, two of which were shorthanded. His shortie at 12:11 of the second against Zatkoff gave Mason some breathing room at 4-2.
The Penguins got their first goal of the weekend against the Flyers at 17:33 of the first period when defenseman Brooks Orpik’s point shot hit Simmonds and bounced past Mason.
Pittsburgh began the second period with 1:56 left on a power play, down 3-1. Mason had a clutch stick save on Evgeni Malkin near the end of it.
The Penguins made up for it with a Matt Niskanen shot from just inside the point at 5:50 of the second period to make it a game at 3-2. The Flyers let their foot off the gas pedal after that penalty kill and it hurt them.
This was Giroux’s 400th NHL game.
Sidney Crosby did not get a single point in the weekend series. He hit the post with only seconds remaining in Sunday's game.
The Flyers came into the game 7-1-1 at CONSOL Energy Center since it opened.
Same as Saturday: Forward Jay Rosehill and defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Hal Gill. Gill has been a healthy scratch 31 consecutive games.