Flyers/Penguins 3 Storylines: Keep calm and rally on

A tearful clunker of a start turned into a character-building 4-3 Flyers regulation victory to take game two of this three-game mini-series with the Penguins. 

Oddly enough, it was the most complete game the Flyers have played in 2021.  Not a full 60 minutes, but a solid 56-minutes leaves room for growth – BECAUSE WE HAVE FLYERS/PENS ROUND 3 TOMORROW AFTERNOON!

For the full breakdown of Thursday night’s win, check out the Pod Street Postgame. Here are Flyers/Penguins 3 Storylines going into Saturday’s game-3 matinee.

Flyers v. Penguins: Three Storylines

G@C

Claude Giroux (2G, 1A) reminded Flyers Nation that he is the captain on Thursday night and was involved in three of four goals: scoring the game-winner. 

G was moved to center with Oskar Lindblom (2A) and Nicolas Aube-Kubel (2A) flanking; the odd-trio was dynamite. Giroux has always been a productive player – regardless of position – but on a night when the Flyers needed a boost on the scoreboard, the captain took control.

Giroux is a natural center moved to wing a few seasons back to alleviate the full-ice defensive responsibilities while reigniting his offensive power and playmaking ability on the wing.  It has worked, but by reversing the Flux Capacitor on Thursday night, coach Alain Vigneault made time travel possible in finding Giroux’s former scoring touch. 

For AV to break that line up after such a great performance would be a bold move, but the larger question is, was that a fluke game, or does that line have legit chemistry?  If the chemistry is there, are there any reservations on keeping Giroux at center for the long term? 

Roster Roulette

Joel Farabee was the lone bright spot in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss by netting both Flyer’s goals. This pesky pandemic grabbed another Flyer on Thursday night, and Farabee was unavailable and adding insult-to-isolation. Penguins’ star Sydney Crosby was activated off the Covid list. 

The news came 90 minutes before puck-drop and forced the coaching staff to juggle the lines.

The Giroux line performed; Jake Voracek filled in nicely on Couturier’s line in Farabee’s place. Nolan Patrick had a solid appearance at 4C. Travis Konecny pinged two off the crossbar and looked poised to break through after his quarantine. 

The status of Farabee for Saturday is still TBD, and other players could get added. The Flyers forward depth and fluidity will be tested with the uncertainty this weekend and in the weeks to come. 

Roster Roulette Game plan – survive the first five minutes and let the lines gel. 

That’s the Pitts…

That comeback was absolutely astonishing and could be a team-identity-building game for the Flyers.  But, the storyline going into the third game of back-to-back-to-back is how the Penguins will respond after a heart-ripping loss where the BLEW a three-goal lead?

Malkin, Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Letang are all veteran players who know what it takes to win, but the remainder of the Penguins lineup is young and likely not go through a rollercoaster-like that in their careers. 

Do they have the experience, leadership, skill, and short memory to move on less than 48 hours while playing the same Flyers team?  Can the Flyers take advantage of that with a fast start and put any Penguin confidence in doubt by the end of the first? 

We shall find out those questions and more starting at 1p EST.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

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