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Pens score four unanswered to knock off Flyers 5-4

Chris Kunitz had two goals and one assist as the Penguins scored four unanswered goals and roared back from a 4-1 deficit to beat the Flyers 5-4 in Philly Thursday night.

Kunitz and Sidney Crosby led the Penguins with three points apiece, and Philadelphia’s Jacob Voracek scored two goals with Kimmo Timonen chipping in three points.

Philadelphia started the game pressuring the Penguins’ defensive zone, forcing goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to make a couple of good glove saves. The Pens were unable to muster a concerted attack in the early going as they were held without a shot for the first seven minutes of the period. James Neal took a penalty, and the Flyers cashed in on the power play as Timonen dumped the puck to Claude Giroux, who lofted a pass to Voracek for a ricochet goal off a Penguins’ defender. The Penguins picked up a power play immediately after, and Crosby slid a pass to Kris Letang, who served the puck back over the middle for the Kunitz’s first goal of the night.

Pittsburgh lost their composure during the period, giving up another power play. The Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo knocked in a goal off Fleury’s kick-save rebound on assists by Nicklas Grossmann and Max Talbot. Neal took another penalty with seconds remaining in the period, and Timonen fed Voracek for his second goal of the night on a bouncing-puck shot.

That was it for Fleury, pulled by coach Dan Bylsma in favor of Tomas Vokoun after Philadelphia’s fourth goal. The Flyers outshot Pittsburgh 18-4 and converted 2 of 3 power plays.

The Penguins took the action immediately in the second period. Kunitz fought for the puck next to the Philly net before poking it out to Crosby, who gathered it and found Pascal Depuis in front of an open net for a goal. With controlled, consistent offensive pressure, the Pens’ created multiple scoring opportunities before rookie Beau Bennett forced a turnover in the Pens’ offensive zone and fed the puck to James Neal, who slid a shot into the crease, deflecting off a Flyers’ defender into the net.

The Penguins kept up the intensity, and Matt Cooke laid off a pass to Tyler Kennedy for a massive slap-shot goal to tie the game. Brandon Sutter also assisted, and Flyers’ coach Peter Laviolette switched goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for Brian Boucher. Pittsburgh grabbed another power play opportunity, but they failed to cash in on the man advantage for the second time despite outshooting Philadelphia 12-3 in the period.

Energized by a fantastic second period, the Penguins opened the third by forcing a 2-on-1 breakaway. Kunitz scored his second goal of the game 18 seconds into the period on assists from Crosby and Depuis. After taking their first lead of the game, Pittsburgh completely silenced the Flyers’ crowd. Philadelphia desperately struggled for an equalizer, but the Penguins stood strong with an active defense and a successful penalty kill to steal a victory on the Flyers’ home ice.

The Pittsburgh Penguins schedule continues with a Saturday game in Toronto.

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