At the end of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoff series between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philly fans saluted the Pens with the most unkind cut of all, "You can't beat us." And most likely, they are correct.
The Pens tried everything today, but the results were the same: another eight-goal game for the Flyers. Dan Bylsma pulled his goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, in favor of Brent Johnson to start the third period.
The Pens tried thuggery at its worst. Aaron Ashman gave Brayden Schenn a cross-check to the throat and then punched Schenn after he had fallen to the ice.
Sidney Crosby hacked away at Ilya Bryzgalov's glove when it was covering the puck on the ice. Crosby later added neat stick handling of some gloves that had fallen to the ice during a scrum. By most accounts, the Pens got the better of the nonsense.
But on the scoreboard, the Flyers got two goals each from Danny Briere, Matt Read and Max Talbot to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
As they have done in all three games of the series, the Pens got off to an early lead on a goal by Jordan Staal. But then Talbot tied it up on a short-handed goal, the Flyers' third in the last two games. Briere put the Flyers ahead on a power play, and the Flyers never gave up the lead.
While there was no need for a furious third-period comeback this time, the Flyers did add two goals in the last period, just to let Johnson know what he would be in for if he starts Game 4. Giroux scored before Johnson had even been in the net for a minute.
We all know that the Pens have the two best hockey players in the world, so we can't get too far ahead of ourselves. But just in case, I have my broom ready for Wednesday night.
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