PITTSBURGH -- The Philadelphia Flyers skated to a third consecutive win, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Wednesday night. Center Brayden Schenn accounted for both Flyers goals, while goaltender Ray Emery turned aside 30 of 31 Pittsburgh shots.
"We're gaining more confidence and really getting into it," said Emery.
Although the Pittsburgh Penguins sat in first place, nine points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers heading into the contest, the teams are heading in opposite directions. This was the Penguins' third-straight defeat.
"Definitely right now it sucks, but you've got to find ways," said Penguins' right winger Pascal Dupuis.
The Penguins wasted no time going to work, appearing to have scored just 19 seconds in. Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby broke in on a breakaway and wristed the puck on Philadelphia goaltender Ray Emery. The resulting rebound came to backhand of left winger Chris Kunitz, who also shot it off of the equipment of Emery. The rebound of his own shot came back to him and deflected in off his skates. However, replay revealed a distinct kicking motion and the goal was disallowed.
Penguins' defenseman Robert Bortuzzo also snapped a shot past Emery at the 17:25 mark of the first, but it rang off of the right post.
"You've got to capitalize on the chances that you get," said Pittsburgh left winger James Neal.
Despite the Penguins dominating most of the play in the first, registering the first seven shots of the game, it was the Flyers who struck first. Right winger Wayne Simmonds in on the forecheck knocked Bortuzzo off the puck from below the Penguins' goal line, turned and found Schenn positioned near the left wing faceoff dot. Schenn wasted no time in taking the Simmonds pass and unleashing a perfectly placed wrist shot into the upper right corner of the net past Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's glove at the 16:02 mark of the first.
"(Simmonds) goes in, makes contact gets a loose puck and they end up getting a goal out of it," said Flyers coach Craig Berube.
The Penguins knotted the game at 1 while working on a power play in the second. Crosby positioned himself right above the blue paint of the crease and waited for the puck to find him. The puck soon arrived on his stick thanks to center Evgeni Malkin, who was positioned at the hash mark along the right wing boards. Crosby took Malkin's cross-ice pass and tapped it past Emery's blocker at 8:29 of the second to snap his seven-game goalless streak. The goal was his 30th career goal against the Flyers, the most against any opponent, and pushed him back into the overall lead in the NHL scoring race, moving past injured Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos.
The Flyers got a power-play goal of their own when a shot from the point deflected off of the right post. The puck laid untouched for a brief second before Schenn swooped in and pushed it into the net for his second of the game with just 1:20 remaining in the second frame. The goal proved to be the game-winner and marked his fourth tally in his past six games.
"Obviously any time you can help contribute to the team and win hockey games it always feels good, so I got the two points tonight and now we move on," said Schenn.
NOTES: Including regular season and playoff meetings, Wednesday night's matchup was the 300th between the Penguins and Flyers. ... The Flyers and Blue Jackets are the only two teams the Penguins will play five times this season. The Penguins and Capitals are the only two teams that the Flyers will play five times apiece. ... The Penguins have lost 78 man games to injury. The Flyers have lost 48 man games to injury. ... Scratches for Pittsburgh were D Paul Martin (lower body), C Jayson Megna and LW Dustin Jeffrey. Scratches for the Flyers were D Hal Gill, D Andrej Meszaros and LW Michael Raffl. ... The Penguins are next in action Friday when they host Nashville. They Flyers' next contest will also be Friday at Winnipeg. ... The official attendance was 18,656.