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Game 3: Penguins at Flyers - Philadelphia Inquirer

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Game 3: Penguins at Flyers - Philadelphia Inquirer
Apr 15th 2012, 05:30

FLYERS: Left winger Scott Hartnell

For all of the hyperbole surrounding the 20 goals traded between the Flyers and Penguins in Pittsburgh to start the series, Hartnell has been curiously quiet. He emerged from the two games with just one assist, though his two linemates - Jaromir Jagr and Claude Giroux - were key factors in the second game. Hartnell, who led the Flyers with 37 goals in the regular season, played just 3 minutes, 35 seconds in the third period of Game 2 because of a broken skate blade.

PENGUINS: Defenseman Zbynek Michalek

Equally intriguing, Michalek somehow survived the Game 2 massacre as a plus-1 despite being one of Pittsburgh's worst players in Game 1. He was on the ice for Claude Giroux's second-period power-play goal, but that doesn't count as a minus. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma switched up the defensive pairings, moving Michalek away from Paul Martin to play with Brooks Orpik for a stretch to try to mitigate the risk. The Flyers will win if they can continue to exploit him.

Three keys to the game

1.

The Flyers need to attack Marc-Andre Fleury. The Flyers have made life miserable for the Penguins netminder, pounding him for 11 goals over the first two games. He has a worse career save percentage against just two teams - the Rangers and Islanders. Fleury declined to speak to the media after Game 2, a rare response for the calm Francophone.

2.

The Flyers must stay disciplined. Philadelphia was caught shorthanded four times in the first 30 minutes of Game 2, allowing the Penguins to capitalize twice on the power play. That can't happen in Game 3.

3.

The Flyers better get nasty. The Flyers were outhit, 40-34, in Game 2. They can maintain their significant mental advantage over Pittsburgh by staying in the Pens' faces throughout the game.

- Frank Seravalli

 

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