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Penguins rout Flyers 10-3 to avoid elimination; anomaly or miracle rally?

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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The Pittsburgh Penguins' 10-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals — avoiding elimination, chasing Ilya Brzygalov and generally looking like the juggernaut many believed they would be in the playoffs — could go one of two ways.

It could be the Flyers' May 8, 2010, victory over the Boston Bruins — an overtime win over the Boston Bruins, and the first of four straight wins to become only the third team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 series hole.

Or it could be the Red Wings' May 7, 2010, victory over the San Jose Sharks — a 7-1 blowout that saw Johan Franzen tally six points and Detroit humble the Sharks … only to have San Jose close out the series in five games.

Reasons to believe in the former: That the Penguins finally got Evgeni Malkin (2G, 1A) and Sidney Crosby (1G, 2A) going, while Jordan Staal (3G) remained hot; that they won this game without James Neal, Paul Martin and Craig Adams, who should all be back for Game 5; and because Marc-Andre Fleury exhibited a minimal amount of competence after a shaky first period, while Bryzgalov was an absolute sieve.

Reasons to believe in the latter: That it was an awkwardly paced penalty fest, with the Flyers taking 12 minors and 64 PIMs overall — an overcompensation for the chaos in Sunday's Game 3 and the multiple Shanabans this week; unless they simultaneously hit the wall, Matt Read, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn won't go scoreless for the next three games; and the Flyers aren't going to give up four power play goals every game.

Plus, Philly just need one more 'W' thanks to the hole the Penguins dug for themselves in the first three.

I lean toward anomaly, but I also think we've learned that the moment you think you have the Penguins/Flyers series figured out oh look Byrzgalov just gave up another goal …

What do you think: Momentary lapse for the Flyers, or the start of something special for the Penguins?

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