Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Nolan Patrick and Andrew MacDonald each scored one goal and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 to even the best-of-seven playoff series at one game apiece Friday night at PPG Paints Arena.
Philadelphia goaltender Brian Elliott, who struggled mightily in Game 1, allowing five goals on 19 shots, was stellar this time around with 34 saves.
The Flyers were soundly beaten 7-0 in Game 1 and responded in a big way as Ivan Provorov and Couturier each had a pair of assists.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray scuffled with 15 saves on 19 shots, snapping a streak of three consecutive playoff shutouts. It marked the most goals that he has allowed in 17 career home playoff games.
Sidney Crosby compiled a natural hat trick in Game 1 but was held scoreless on Friday. Patric Hornqvist scored a third-period goal for the Penguins.
Konecny scored his first career playoff goal to make it 3-0 Flyers with 18:31 left in the third period. Konecny pumped his fist following the goal as the crowd went quiet. Patrick extended the Philadelphia lead to 4-0 on the power play with 14:50 left.
The Penguins got on the board to make it 4-1 when Hornqvist scored 17 seconds later.
MacDonald scored an empty-net goal in the waning seconds to give the Flyers a 5-1 lead.
Philadelphia came out ultra-aggressive in the second and the fiery play resulted in a 2-0 lead when Couturier put the puck past Murray just 47 seconds in. Michael Raffl and Provorov recorded the assists.
Hornqvist eventually gathered the puck, skated around the back of the net and attempted a shot on the short side a few minutes later. But Elliott moved across the crease and made the key save to maintain the two-goal advantage.
The Penguins’ hard work was rewarded with a power play and Crosby ripped a shot at the end but was stymied by Elliott with 10:18 remaining. The Flyers killed off the power play.
With the teams playing 4-on-4, Crosby stole the puck and skated from the red line on a breakaway. Crosby went to the backhand but Elliott knocked the puck away. Crosby later missed a tap-in on the third power play at the end of the second and slammed his stick on the Flyers’ net in frustration as the period ended with a 2-0 deficit.
The Flyers had a couple of strong scoring chances midway through the first when Claude Giroux and Couturier each had chances in front of the net. Murray made a pair of difficult saves, however.
Hornqvist later fired a wrist shot off the post with 9:44 remaining. Zach Aston-Reese followed with a deflection to the right of Elliott about a minute later only to have the puck cleared.
Philadelphia earned a late power play and capitalized when Gostisbehere connected from the point with 36.9 seconds left for a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Penguins led in shots 11-6 but trailed by a goal heading into the locker room.
—Field Level Media