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Flyers 4, Penguins 3

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Philadelphia stopped Pittsburgh 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center, giving the Flyers back-to-back victories over the Penguins.

The Penguins were looking to avenge at 4-0 loss in Philadelphia on Saturday, but their special teams failed again, allowing two power-play goals and one short-handed.

After shutting out the Penguins on Saturday, the Flyers picked up right where they left off on scoring the first three goals of the game, good for seven unanswered goals to begin in the home-and-home series. First it was center Brayden Schenn pushing in the rebound of a shot from Simmonds at 2:06 of the first to give the Flyers the early 1-0 lead.

Less than five minutes later, while working on a power play, Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen fired a shot from the point that was masterfully deflected by Simmonds who was parked in front of the Pittsburgh net. Simmonds picked up another power-play goal, and third point of the period, when he took a pass from the point with his back to the net, spun around and whacked at his own rebound until it squeezed past Fleury at 13:41 of the first. The goal was enough to exit Fleury from the game and bring in back-up goaltender Jeff Zatkoff in relief.

Pittsburgh finally solved Flyers goaltender Steve Mason when defenseman Brooks Orpik fired a bouncing puck from the point that bounded off the ice and over the glove of the Flyers netminder to cut the Philadelphia lead to 3-1 at 17:33 of the first.

Another Penguins defenseman, Matt Niskanen, pulled the Penguins within one, 3-2, when he blasted a slap shot past Mason over his left shoulder at 5:50 of the second. The goal was Niskanen's 10th, building upon his career high.

Just when it looked as though the Penguins might even the game, the Flyers scored a short-handed goal, their second in as many days, to put themselves ahead 4-2. Right winger Matt Read broke in on a two-on-one, but had no intention of passing and wired a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Zatkoff at 12:11 of the second.

The theme of two-on-one goals continued at 16:19 of the second when Penguins center Brian Gibbons broke down the left wing and swooped around the lone defenseman back for the Flyers and found breaking forward Jayson Megna who tapped the Gibbons pass just inside the right post for his fifth of the season, pulling the Penguins back to within one of the Flyers 4-3.

The Penguins hit the post with one second left, but that was as close as they would get, as the Flyers swept the home-and-home to keep themselves in a playoff position.

NOTES: The Penguins have now lost 413 man-games to injury, which is the most in franchise history. By comparison, the Flyers have lost 176 man-games to injury. ... D Matt Niskanen's goal gave the Penguins a pair of D-men (Kris Letang is the other) who have reached double digits in goals, the first time they have accomplished that since 2007-08 when Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney had 12 each. ... Flyers C Claude Giroux is one game shy of 400 for his career. ... Scratches for the Penguins were RW Neal (concussion), LW Chris Kunitz (lower body) and D Simon Despres. Scratches for the Flyers were LW Jay Rosehill, D Hal Gill and D Erik Gustafsson. ... The next contests for both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will be on Tuesday. Pittsburgh will host Dallas and Philadelphia will host Chicago. ... The official attendance was 18,647 -- Pittsburgh's 317th consecutive sellout.

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