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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Penguins, Flyers rely on resilience ahead of home-and-home set

NHL News: Penguins, Flyers rely on resilience ahead of home-and-home set


The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers renew their longstanding and sometimes heated cross-state rivalry when they play Saturday for the first time this season — and the first of two meetings in three days.

The Flyers visit Pittsburgh Saturday in the first half of a home-and-home series that concludes Tuesday with a rematch in Philadelphia.

Both teams come into the two-game set after showing some resilience in their respective games Thursday.

The Penguins played one of their poorest opening periods of the season Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They trailed 2-0 by the first intermission — and it wasn’t worse thanks to goaltender Tristan Jarry, who stopped 15 of 17 shots that frame.

Pittsburgh rallied for a 4-2 win in a game that extended its point streak to three games (2-0-1) and could mark a sort of turning point.

Each of the Penguins’ goals that game had some extra meaning. They collected two goals on 19 shots in the second to tie it — goals from team captain and longtime catalyst Sidney Crosby, and from Drew O’Connor, who was playing in his 100th game and has firmly established himself as a full-time NHLer, including playing in the top six in recent games because of injuries.

In the third, Pittsburgh got a go-ahead goal from veteran forward Jeff Carter, an accomplished but aging veteran who has fallen to the fourth line and even out of the lineup at times this season. It was Carter’s first goal of the season.

“I think our line has been playing a lot better lately,” Carter said.

That set the stage for the biggest moment of the night — a goal from Tristan Jarry, whose launch from his crease didn’t touch down until it was past the far blue line and then slid into the net for the 14th goalie goal in league history, and the first in Penguins history.

Jarry’s teammates gushed over him after the game. So did his coach.

“There are moments during the course of the year that I think help to galvanize a group,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “That could be one of them.”

In the afterglow of that eventful game, Pittsburgh turns its attention to Philadelphia.

The Flyers had lost two of three before Thursday. They didn’t come up with quite as dramatic a game as the Penguins, but they also overcame a poor start. They erased a two-goal deficit twice to force overtime but fell 4-3 against New Jersey.

“We just keep finding our way,” said Philadelphia coach John Tortorella, whose team is one point ahead of Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division but has played one more game.

The Flyers’ galvanizing moment came late in the first, when Garnet Hathaway was issued a boarding penalty and a game misconduct. Philadelphia’s bench vehemently disputed the call, but the team then killed the ensuing five-minute power play.

“That’s the kind of group we have, not giving up there,” Flyers forward Scott Laughton said.

The Flyers further showed resilience by playing most of that game with 10 forwards, without Hathaway or Joel Farabee, who played 56 seconds in the first and then got benched.

Tortorella said only that it was “because he wouldn’t listen,” and Farabee’s status for Saturday is unclear.

–Field Level Media

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