Courtier's Late Goal Helps Flyers Edge Penguins To Force Game 6

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 4/20/18, Prediction & Odds

Lemieux's joke carried with it a pair of messages.

Filppula fought for the puck behind the Pens' net and got it to Voracek who sent Giroux a sweet pass which he got in his wheelhouse for a one-timer past the stunned Matt Murray to open the game's scoring. The second is a nod to Crosby's playoff excellence. We can be found at Sons of Penn and The Orange Update.

But much like Hakstol, Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan doesn't expect Friday's loss to affect the Penguins on Sunday as they try to close out the series for the second time.

There is a swirl of discussion over the availability of a few key players for Game 5 of the first-round playoff series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

The Penguins struggled on the power play, going 0-for-5.

The Penguins kept peppering Neuvirth with shots and eventually tied the game at 1 with 8:00 remaining as Rust scored on a wraparound.

Sullivan downplays his role in it, preferring to put the emphasis on his star-laden roster. All it takes is for the center to drop his shoulder and stay on his backhand, and he's got a chance for the Penguins to go on top with under 10 to play. "I think it starts with our core players". Certainly the Flyers hope all the similarities end right now.

All he did was score the game-winner, snapping a 2-2 tie with 1 minute, 15 seconds left in regulation as the Flyers shocked the Penguins, 4-2, and staved off elimination. The cross-state rivals have engaged in what amounts to an outlier of sorts in the typically taut playoffs.

The Flyers had a chance to add to their lead in the opening minutes of the second, but Murray came up big to deny a two-on-one break.

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"It's been weird", Pittsburgh center Derick Brassard said.

It was not just Couturier's return to the lineup that made an impact for the Flyers on Friday. Couturier missed Game 4 after being injured in practice by Radko Gudas, and you could tell how badly the Flyers needed his presence on both ends of the ice.

Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol, perhaps fighting for his job, made his first significant change in an effort to keep his team's season alive, giving Neuvirth his first playoff start in almost two years and his first start of any variety in more than two months after Brian Elliott couldn't shake out of a funk that saw him pulled in Game 1 and again in Game 4. "Our focus has to get back to one game".

Heading into this series the special teams matchup was going to be an important one to watch because the Penguins had the NHL's best power play during the regular season.

There's much work to be done before another one can be planned, but Pittsburgh is three periods away from getting at least as far as the last three teams trying for a threepeat - the 1998-99 Detroit Red Wings, the 1992-93 Penguins and the 1988-89 Edmonton Oilers.

"It's one thing to play, but you have to be able to help the team as well", he said after the morning skate. "We want to try and carry that momentum and the way we played into our own building".

Harkening back to 2016 and beyond, Claude Giroux (minus-7 in this series) and Wayne Simmonds each chalked up an 11th consecutive playoff game without a goal Wednesday. "Obviously, that's something that is in the back of your head". "We ended up making a couple mistakes that ended up in our net".

The Predators tried to make sure they're well-rested by flying back to Tennessee on Thursday, and they will have a chance to advance against Colorado's backup to the backup goalie. Couturier is questionable for Game 5 and would be a major loss again if he misses another game.

Philadelphia was outshot by a 15-5 margin for the period but surprise starting goaltender Michal Neuvirth was at his best for these 20 minutes.

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