for this game

Biron helps Flyers stay alive, edge Penguins

May 16, 2008 - 5:25 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Martin Biron and the Philadelphia Flyers forced the Pittsburgh Penguins to put their brooms away.

Biron made 36 saves and Joffrey Lupul notched two goals as the Flyers scored three times in the first period and staved off elimination by holding on for a 4-2 victory over the Penguins in Game Four of their Eastern Conference final series Thursday.

Daniel Briere and Jeff Carter each scored power-play goals for sixth-seeded Philadelphia, which went 2-for-4 with the man advantage in this one.

"I just thought that we came out with more energy," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "We skated with the puck. We just didn't get the puck through the neutral zone, we had the speed after the puck. When we got on our power play, we started shooting the puck again. Getting the lead was big for us, but we did some really good things, especially early in the game."

Scott Hartnell added three assists for the Flyers, who still trail in the best-of-seven series, three games to one.

"For us it's about winning one game," Stevens said. "I just think that we're looking at one game at a time. We need a win to keep playing just like they do. We've got two days to rest here and do it again. We're going to need that kind of urgency the rest of the way."

Jordan Staal scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 30 shots for second-seeded Pittsburgh, which hosts Game Five on Sunday and will look to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992.

"We want to play well there and finish it off," captain Sidney Crosby said of Game Five. "We have to play better than we did tonight to give ourselves a chance. You don't go into a series expecting to win four in a row. We would have liked to have gotten it done, but we're going home. We've got a great opportunity there."

"We have to look at the big picture," Penguins coach Michel Therrien added. "After four games, we're up 3-1 and that is the most important thing for us. I like our chances. We're in good command. We didn't quit. Guys were battling and trying to make a comeback."

Exactly 30 seconds after a Penguins' power play had ended, Lupul opened the scoring at 8:27 of the opening session.

After taking a pass from Hartnell, Lupul bursted up the right side of the ice and into the Pittsburgh zone. He unleashed a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle that deflected off Penguins defenseman Hal Gill's stick before beating Fleury on the glove side.

"It's so much easier playing with the lead," Lupul said. "It is a lot less work. We were making them tire themselves out trying to play catch-up. In the first few games, we have been pressing and pressing but not able to get anything. You look at the end of the game and you only have 17 or 18 shots on goal. It is a lot more enjoyable to play with the lead."

The Flyers, who were just 1-for-9 on the power play over the first three games of the series, then capitalized on a pair of man advantages.

Briere's ninth tally of the playoffs gave Philadelphia a 2-0 edge with 8:12 left in the first. Randy Jones' slap shot from the point was stopped by Fleury but Briere grabbed the rebound, skated around the netminder and stuffed the puck into the net.

"We wanted to get the start with the lead," Briere said. "The last two games they got some of the breaks with two power-play goals. It was hard to have to play catch-up. We wanted to find a way to play with a lead, which we did and kept going. That was the plan and it worked in the first period."

Carter continued the offensive onslaught, notching his sixth goal of the postseason with just 70 ticks remaining in the opening period.

After R.J. Umberger's shot from the top of the right circle was blocked, Carter collected the rebound and lifted a backhander over the right pad of Fleury to give the Flyers a 3-0 advantage.

"You want to win every game but they had a good first period and we didn't," Crosby said. "That was really the difference. We fought hard in the second and third and we just gave them too many chances. It was too little, too late."

It was the sixth time in the playoffs that Philadelphia had scored three goals in a period and it was all the offense that Biron needed.

"They capitalized on their chances and their breaks," Therrien said. "They put on our heels in the first period when they took over. It's hard when you're trailing by three goals."

Biron stopped 13 shots in the first session, 12 more in the next and 11 in the third to ensure that the Flyers would play at least one more game this season.

"In the first three games they got rebound goals, they got scrums around the net where they were able to organize their attack," Biron said. "We did a good job of boxing out more and seeing a little bit more of the shots. To have played the way we did in the first period really gave us a chance to be ready for their two goals in the third period and it gave us a cushion."

Staal end Biron's shutout bid at 3:16 of the final session when he jammed the puck off the netminder's right pad and into the net from behind the goal line to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The 19-year-old Staal added another with 5:49 left in the contest to make it 3-2. Staal fired a one-timer from the right hash marks off a pass from Tyler Kennedy to notch his fifth goal of the postseason.

"We had a few chances when we he had us three out there," Staal said of playing on a line with Kennedy and Maxime Talbot. "We just tried to keep things simple, just getting the pucks deep and working down low. We had a few chances after that."

Lupul secured the victory with 33 seconds remaining, scoring an empty-net tally for his second goal of the night and fourth of the playoffs.

After Lupul's empty-netter, a pair of fights broke out - including one between Crosby and Philadelphia's Mike Richards with 15 ticks left. Both players finished the contest in the locker room.

Kennedy and Talbot both had two assists for the Penguins, who also lost Game Four in the conference quarterfinals while holding a three-games-to-none lead over the New York Rangers.

"We just didn't get the pucks deep and they capitalized on that," Crosby said. "Every team wants to do that and that is normal. We have to a better job and make it tougher on them. We'll make sure we do that in the next game."

The Flyers are attempting to become the third team in NHL history to overcome a three-games-to-none deficit. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders are the only other clubs to accomplish the feat.

"You've got to win four games," Lupul said. "If you go down to their locker room, they'd say the same thing. The fourth game is the hardest to win. That is not just a cliche, that is just how it is.

"We were in a series against Washington where we were up 3-1 and they got a couple of wins and the momentum shifted. That is what we're looking to do, shift the momentum. The same attitude applies for one more game, one more win."






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    Penguins 2, Flyers 4  FinalMay 15 10:53 PM
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    Penguins 2, Flyers 4  FinalMay 15 10:17 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 2 2
    PHILADELPHIA 3 0 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 3 (SCOTT HARTNELL, RYAN PARENT) 8:27
    PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 9 (RANDY JONES, SCOTT HARTNELL)
    11:48
    PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 6 (R.J. UMBERGER, JAROSLAV MODRY)
    18:50
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD

    May 15 10:16 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 2
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    3RD PRD: PHI - (EN) JOFFREY LUPUL 4 (UNASSISTED) 19:27

    Penguins 2, Flyers 4  3rd - 0:33May 15 10:08 PM
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    Penguins 2, Flyers 3  3rd - 2:00May 15 10:04 PM
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    Penguins 2, Flyers 3  3rd - 5:00May 15 10:00 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 2
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 5 (TYLER KENNEDY, MAXIME TALBOT) 14:11

    Penguins 2, Flyers 3  3rd - 5:49May 15 9:57 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 4 (TYLER KENNEDY, MAXIME TALBOT) 3:16

    Penguins 1, Flyers 3  3rd - 16:44May 15 9:37 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3 0 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 3 (SCOTT HARTNELL, RYAN PARENT) 8:27
    PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 9 (RANDY JONES, SCOTT HARTNELL)
    11:48
    PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 6 (R.J. UMBERGER, JAROSLAV MODRY)
    18:50
    2ND PRD:

    May 15 9:14 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 3 (SCOTT HARTNELL, RYAN PARENT) 8:27
    PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 9 (RANDY JONES, SCOTT HARTNELL)
    11:48
    PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 6 (R.J. UMBERGER, JAROSLAV MODRY)
    18:50
    SHOTS ON

    May 15 8:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 6 (UNASSISTED) 18:50

    Penguins 0, Flyers 3  1st - 1:10May 15 8:18 PM
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    Penguins 0, Flyers 2  1st - 3:20May 15 8:16 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 9 (UNASSISTED) 11:48

    Penguins 0, Flyers 2  1st - 8:12May 15 8:00 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PITTSBURGH 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 3 (SCOTT HARTNELL, RYAN PARENT) 8:27

    Penguins 0, Flyers 1  1st - 11:33May 15 7:53 PM
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