After getting dealt a pair of shocking losses on home ice to start the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to rebound on the road, as they visit the rival Philadelphia Flyers for today's Game 3 at Wells Fargo Center.
The fourth-seeded Penguins have surrendered a whopping 12 goals to their cross-state foes in Games 1 and 2 of this series. Pittsburgh coughed up a 3-0 lead to lose the series opener in overtime by a 4-3 count and the Flyers rallied from multiple deficits to take Friday's wild Game 2 by an 8-5 score.
Both Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux recorded hat tricks for the fifth-seeded Flyers in Game 2, with the former player notching the first three playoff goals of his career, including one with 1:49 left in regulation. Couturier, a 19-year-old rookie and the eighth overall pick of the 2011 draft, also added an assist to help stake his club to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Couturier's hat trick was the first for the franchise in the postseason since Keith Primeau in May of 2004 against Toronto, and the first by a Flyers rookie since Andy Delmore turned the trick in May of 2000 against the Pens.
Meanwhile, Giroux set a Philadelphia playoff record with six points on three goals and three helpers for the Flyers. Giroux's third goal was an empty- netter.
"It was a weird game. And we found a way to get it done," said a stunned Giroux.
Jaromir Jagr haunted his old club with the game-winning tally and ex-Penguin Max Talbot added a short-handed score in the first period. Ilya Bryzgalov picked up the win despite allowing five goals on 28 shots.
Philadelphia, which will also host Game 4 on Wednesday, was 22-13-6 at home during the regular season compared to a superior 25-13-3 road record.
Chris Kunitz scored twice in Game 2, while Sidney Crosby, Tyler Kennedy and Paul Martin tallied once for the Penguins, who wasted a 3-1 first-period lead on Friday.
Marc-Andre Fleury was dented for seven scores on 30 shots in the setback.
"We're down 0-2 and both were hard-fought games. Over the last five games against them, we've seen times where we've taken a lead and didn't make it hold up," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "Bottom line is they've won two but now, it's us going to Philly and looking for our first win and they're still going to get our best."
Jagr put the Flyers on top to stay at the 9:13 mark of the final period, firing a low turnaround wrister from the slot which curled inside the left post. Defenseman Pavel Kubina -- a healthy scratch in Game 1 -- unleashed the original shot, which kicked out right to the 40-year-old star.
Couturier capped his trifecta as the clock ticked under two minutes left, tapping in a Giroux feed from the left side to complete a 2-on-1 rush.
"He's really mature on the ice. He acts and plays like he's 28," Giroux said.
Pittsburgh will try to salvage this series on the road, where it posted a 22-15-4 record during the regular season. The Penguins will have to come back against a Flyers franchise that is 17-0 all-time in series where they win the first two games.
"We're going to keep moving forward. We'll find a way to win one of these games," said Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal. "It'll be a big one the next one. We're going to keep playing as hard as we have been. We're going to get that bounce and find a way to win."
This series marks the sixth all-time playoff meeting between the Flyers and Penguins. Philadelphia won the first three matchups, but Pittsburgh has taken the last two postseason encounters. The last series was in the opening round of the 2009 playoffs and Pittsburgh claimed that series in six games en route to a Stanley Cup title.