The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to move a step closer to pulling off a historic comeback this afternoon, as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center.
The fourth-seeded Penguins dug themselves a 3-0 hole in the best-of-seven series, but have won the last two games to claw their way back into this Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup. Pittsburgh destroyed the Flyers, 10-3, in Philadelphia on Wednesday and then recorded a 3-2 decision in Friday's home Game 5.
Backed by Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins lived to fight another day in Game 5. Fleury was stellar in the third period, especially during the Flyers' lone power play of the frame, as he stopped 14 shots in the final 20 minutes and finished the game with 24 saves.
Thanks in part to Fleury's stalwart performance, the Penguins now trail this best-of-seven series, 3-2, and they are hoping to become just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Of course, the last team to pull off the 3-0 comeback was the Flyers, who did it against Boston in the 2010 conference semifinals. However, Philadelphia has never even blown a 2-0 series lead in its history, posting a 17-0 record all- time when winning the first two games.
If Pittsburgh can stave off elimination again today, the clubs will meet Tuesday night in Pittsburgh for a decisive seventh game.
Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy each posted a goal and an assist on Friday while Steve Sullivan also lit the lamp for the Penguins, who hope to join the 1942 Maple Leafs, 1975 Islanders and 2010 Flyers as the only teams to win a best-of- seven series after dropping the first three games.
"It's just one game at a time and we've been saying that for a while," said Staal. "We'll go into Philly and be confident that we can win and go from there."
Matt Carle and Scott Hartnell each scored their first goal of the playoffs for the Flyers, who received 20 saves from Ilya Bryzgalov.
"We definitely have to look at what we're doing in all areas of the game," said Hartnell. "Our forechecking and neutral zone play, it seems like they're getting too many rushes off them."
The Flyers have scored their past five goals on the power play and now have 11 in the series, which ties their team record for a playoff series set against the Penguins in 1989, a series that went seven games. Philadelphia hasn't scored an even-strength goal since Game 3.
Philadelphia was without defenseman Nicklas Grossmann, who was out with an upper-body injury which is believed to be a concussion that he suffered in Game 4. Grossmann is questionable for this afternoon's contest.
For Pittsburgh, defenseman Paul Martin sat out a second straight game on Friday with an undisclosed injury and he is not expected to play today.
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 set in six games en route to their most recent Stanley Cup title.