PHILADELPHIA – It was all so wonderful, at least one night.
Twenty-four hours after laying the wood to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 7-2 win, the Flyers rolled over like submissive puppies and the Pens ran over them in a 7-3 payback.
“I know, as a group, we weren’t pleased with the effort that we had last night,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “We wanted to be better. I thought, to a man, we were a much better team tonight. I thought it started with our leaders.”
Sidney Crosby struck for two goals in the win.
“A good chunk of guys have been a part of this, this rivalry, for a while,” said Crosby, the Pittsburgh captain, who has 115 points (49 goals, 66 assists) in 77 games against Philadelphia. “[Games] seem to be more intense. More emotional. That should bring out everyone’s best.”
Tristan Jarry made 30 saves in the win, the victory pushed the Pens back into first place in the East, ahead of the idle Washington Capitals.
Pittsburgh jumped to a 3-0 lead off goals from Marcus Pettersson, Jake Guentzel and Crosby.
“We weren’t happy with last night, for sure,” Guentzel said. “Particularly our line, we needed to be better. I think that tonight, from the start, we were good.”
“I think it was safe to figure Sid had a tough game last night and, him being the player that he is and the great player that he is, he’d want to have a bounce-back game,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said of Crosby, who scored Monday but was minus-4. “He certainly did. It was a game that unfolded like many of the ones that we’ve had in the past.”
Jason Zucker scored to up the Pens lead to 4-2.
Travis Konecny also scored for the Flyers.
“Obviously, we have to be better,” Couturier said. “Not too sure what exactly the problem is, but definitely need to be better.”
Mark Friedman scored an empty-net goal for Pittsburgh late, and John Marino added a power-play goal with under two minutes left in the game.
Brian Elliott made 24 saves in the loss.
“It was really special,” Elliott said. “To be able to play 500 games in this league is an accomplishment I’m really proud of. I tried to soak it in and enjoy the moment. It’s not ideal the way it turned out, but it’s kind of how the season was going a little bit.”