Pens-Flyers Game 2: Philly Goes for the Home-Ice Jugular

Pens-Flyers Game 2: Philly Goes for the Home-Ice Jugular

The Flyers' resilience isn't exactly news at this point. Including playoffs, they've won 21 games this season when their opponent scores first, and eight when trailing by two or more goals.

What's interesting about that is comeback victories are becoming par for the course against the Penguins in particular.

In each of Philadelphia's last three wins over Pittsburgh -- and really the last three games against them that mattered -- the Flyers have fought back from 2-0 deficits. Two of those were at the Consol Energy Center while we're at it, where the Flyers have won six of seven since the building opened in 2010.

So they're not just beating the Pens. They're starting to demoralize them. But the Penguins don't strike anybody as a team that's going to get a head start on setting up tee times, do they?

There's no denying Sidney Crosby and mates have experienced their share of high-pressure situations, and if you're still not convinced Pittsburgh is dangerous, re-watch the first period from Wednesday night. Rest assured, they'll throw everything they've got at the Flyers to avoid tumbling into a 2-0 hole.

Speaking of 2-0 holes, the white sweaters might want to avoid digging themselves into one on the scoreboard yet again, however unlikely that may be. One way Philly can avoid falling behind right off the bat is by using the familiarity of this opponent to their advantage to jump start their own offense started early.

If the Flyers can pick up where they left off in game 1 from the opening whistle tonight -- dumping the puck deep inside Pittsburgh territory, controlling the board play, and letting their forwards out-physical Penguin defenders in front of the net -- hell, they might just be able to light the lamp first for a change.

An early lead would help set the tone for Ilya Bryzgalov as well, who figures to be in for 60 minutes against a firing squad. These are the moments Bryz was brought here for though, and should he rise to the occasion the way we are coming to expect, it could pave the way to Flyers victory -- as long as they still have Marc-Andre Fleury solved.

One note in front of Bryzgalov: Marc-Andre Bourdon is out with an upper-body injury, reentering Pavel Kubina into the lineup. The veteran and '04 Cup Champion was a healthy scratch in favor of the rookie for game 1, so we'll see how he responds to watching a tilt from the press box. 

We're being told the men in bear costumes are back in the building (no word on pretty, naked women), but pretty sure nobody is scared, not even Bryz now. Can the Flyers come home with a stranglehold on this series, or will the Penguins figure out how to play a full 60 against their cross-state rivals?

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Here come Flyers with nasty OT combo

Here come Flyers with nasty OT combo

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON — It may have taken eight straight unsuccessful overtime periods, but Dave Hakstol has finally found a deadly combination.

For the second time this week, the trio of Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier and Ivan Provorov scored on the opening shift of OT, as the Flyers beat the Washington Capitals, 2-1, at Capital One Arena Sunday, while also earning their third straight win (see observations).

Konecny knifed his way through a defender along the wall before cutting to the middle and beating Caps goaltender Braden Holtby with a snap shot from between the circles. Just three days ago, it was Couturier who connected 18 seconds into overtime of Thursday’s 3-2 victory against the Maple Leafs.

“We got a good opportunity and we capitalized on it," Couturier said. “It’s all about starting with the puck and trying to control it. We did a good job of hanging onto it.”

“We’re just finding ways to win hockey games,” Konecny said. “They’re tough games to win when you’re playing against good teams. We’re just keeping things simple and trusting our abilities. I know that those two are on the defensive side of things, and Coots makes sure I know that every time by giving me a heads up to stay below my guy in the defensive zone. It just seems to be clicking right now.”

The offensive-minded Konecny has now scored goals in back-to-back games for just the second time in his career with the previous occasion coming in November 2016 of his rookie season.  

The victory was also the Flyers' seventh in their last eight games, which propelled them back into a playoff spot for the first time since Nov. 11, a day that coincided with the start of the team’s 10-game winless streak. Currently, the Flyers occupy the first wild-card position and are just a point behind Columbus for one of three automatic berths in the Metropolitan Division (see standings)

“It’s about finding the way to get the win and I think earlier in the season that was one of the issues is that we didn’t find a way,” captain Claude Giroux said. “We were playing good hockey, but we didn’t find ways. Now, we’re finding ways and we can’t stop here.”

“It’s big and I think if we keep going on the same track, we’ll keep plugging away at teams above us,” said goaltender Brian Elliott, who made 27 saves on 28 shots. “We've got to keep our heads looking forward and not behind us. We can be our best and our worst enemy.” 

Right now, the Flyers have the luxury of relying on two steady goaltenders. Michal Neuvirth has won his last three starts, allowing just four goals, and Elliott looked refreshed in just his third start over a two-week period after receiving some extended rest with the bye week.

“He was sure sharp tonight,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “As much as rest, it’s just a day or two of maintenance work. When you play as much hockey as Moose has played for us, you don’t get those quality practice days in. Sometimes you forget the value of just good, simple work.”

“I think it’s the confidence level right now. Obviously, Moose and Neuvy stepped up over the last couple of games and they played outstanding,” said Michael Raffl, who scored his ninth goal that gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. “When you have good goaltending, you have a chance to win every game in this league.”

Impressively, the Flyers (23-16-8) have three different three-game winning streaks in which they’ve been forced to play three games over a four-day period. The first set of three came on their Western Canada road trip beginning in Calgary. They also ripped off three straight victories in four days leading into their bye week.

“I think it’s just guys battling through that extra step, that extra fight. That’s what you want,” Couturier said. “You don’t want to just sit back and try to save your energy. You've got to push and push through it and fight for your chances.”

“That’s a real credit to the players with their preparation,” Hakstol said. “The mental side is about your preparation, especially a 12:30 p.m. game is a little bit different routine. I thought the first period was going to be one of the keys to this game. Our checking and our brains were turned on that way. Getting through that first period made us a better team with the puck and pushing the game in our direction.”

The Flyers have two more games before the All-Star break as they travel to Detroit on Tuesday before hosting the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.