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20 April 2018, 12:53 | Yvette Williams
PHILADELPHIA FLYERSVIDEO Flyers' Sean Couturier goes down at practice possibly hurtSHARE:sharetweetshareemail
The Flyers went into this series as the clear underdogs, but so far the first round has just served to emphasize the gap between Philadelphia and a major Stanley Cup contender like Pittsburgh.
Prior to this week, the lasting memory of a playoff series against Pittsburgh was Claude Giroux decking Crosby on the opening shift of Game 6 in 2012 and then proceeding to score the first goal as the Flyers eliminated their cross-state rival. Behind a well-rounded performance by almost the entire roster, the Penguins drubbed their Keystone rivals 5-0 to build a 3-1 lead in this first-round best-of-seven series. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had three points nights.
In comparison, five Penguin players have outscored the Flyers trio by themselves: Crosby (9), Jake Guentzel (7), Malkin (5), noted scoring machine Brian Dumoulin (5) and Letang with 4.
The Flyers played without Sean Couturier, who was injured at practice earlier in the week with what the team is calling a Lower Body Injury. Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and fourth-line winger Marcus Sorensen tallied for the third straight game to push San Jose past Anaheim, 2-1. At the end of the day, the Flyers find themselves with their backs against the wall and down 3-1 in the series. In getting pulled during the second periods of Games 1 and 4, Elliott has given up a total of eight goals on 36 shots ...
The carnage continued, care of Crosby (assisted by Guentzel and Dominik Simon) and his shifty stick as a turnover led to a quick wraparound goal as Neuvirth looked the wrong way to put Pittsburgh ahead 4-0. Neuvirth was looking over his right shoulder for the Crosby shot that slipped in by his left skate. Couturier was third on the Flyers with 76 points during the regular season.
Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol dismissed it as nothing unusual, but it shows that the Penguins' dominance over the Flyers this season hasn't been limited to their stars.
Giroux, who scored 102 points during the season, has not scored a posteason goal since 2014.
At the time the Penguins had a 2-0 lead and cutting it to one could have swayed the momentum going forward, but Murray came up big - as he tends to do in the post season. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog's 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot's tap-in off a rebound. Be sure to check back the day after every game for a look Through the Lens of the team's latest game. Phil Kessel scored his first of the postseason midway through the period.
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