There is no more “Battle of Pennsylvania”. When the Flyers and Penguins face-off against each other it should be dubbed the “War of Pennsylvania”. All-time the Flyers hold a commanding 144-93-30 records against their cross-state rivals. With rich histories dating back to 1967 and the two teams playing tomorrow night, here is a look at the Top 10 games between the Flyers and Penguins.
10. December 19, 1979: PIT 1, PHI 1
The Philadelphia Flyers were right in the middle of their famous 35-game unbeaten streak (25-0-10). The Penguins scored a goal in the 1st period and held the lead for most of the 3rd period. With less than five minutes to play, Behn Wilson scored a PP goal 15:52 to preserve the unbeaten streak at 28 games.
9. October 19, 1967: PIT 0, PHI 1
It’s what started it all between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In the Flyers’ first ever home win, Doug Favell shut out the Penguins in front of a crowd of 7,812. Bill Sutherland scored the lone goal at 2:59 of the 3rd period.
8. February 2nd, 1989: PIT 5, PHI 3
In 1974, the Pittsburgh Penguins caught what was dubbed the “Philly Flu”. Over the span of the next 15 years, Pittsburgh would not win a game in Philadelphia going 0-39-3 in that stretch. It wasn’t until 1989 when that streak was finally snapped.
7. April 25, 1989: PHI 7, PIT 10
Spearheaded by Mario Lemieux, the Penguins trounced the Flyers at the Igloo. Lemieux would go on to score five goals and add three assists for an eight-point night. After Rob Brown scored for the Penguins, Ron Hextall lost his cool and made a beeline for Brown. In total, the teams combined for 100 penalty minutes.
6. March 2, 1993: PIT 4, PHI 5
At this point, Mario Lemieux had already been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On the last day of his two-month radiation treatment, Lemieux flew to Philadelphia and played that night notching a goal and an assist. Prior to the game, Lemieux received a standing ovation from the Flyers faithful.
5. November 16, 2005: PIT 6, PHI 5 (OT)
Sidney Crosby drew the ire of Flyers fans in 2005. After being ridden into the boards by Derian Hatcher and later having a few teeth knocked out by a high stick, Crosby would go on to get booed mercilessly. The moniker “Crybaby” came about after that game, but Crosby and the Penguins would go on to have the last laugh. After scoring a goal in the 3rd period, Crosby got a breakaway opportunity in overtime. He scored against then-goalie Antero Niittymaki and won the game for Pittsburgh.
4. April 25, 2009: PIT 5, PHI 3
After Philadelphia took an early 3-0 lead, Max Talbot and Dan Carcillo would square off in a fight where Carcillo won convincingly. As Talbot skated to the box, he put a finger to his mouth as if to quiet the fans. The fight sparked the Penguins as they would go on to score five unanswered goals and knock the Flyers out of the playoffs.
3. April 1, 2012: PHI 6, PIT 3
With the game already settled, Dan Bylsma sent out his 4th line to finish the last few minutes of the game. When Joe Vitale laid a big, clean open-ice check on Danny Briere, a brawl immediately erupted on the ice and almost behind the bench. Peter Laviolette walked along the boards and entered into a shouting match with Bylsma and assistant coach, Tony Granato. The two teams would meet later that week in the first round of the playoffs.
2. April 22, 2012: PIT 1, PHI 5
It lives in Philadelphia Flyers lore as “The Shift”. Prior to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Flyers and Penguins, Claude Giroux told his head coach, Peter Laviolette, that he wanted to be on the ice for the first shift. Five seconds into the game, Giroux delivered a massive hit to Sidney Crosby that sparked the Flyers fans. Giroux would then go on to score the game’s first goal 27 seconds later. Philadelphia would go on to win the game 5-1 knocking the Penguins out of the playoffs.
1. May 4, 2000: PHI 2, PIT 1 (5OT)
The NHL Playoffs have a flair for the dramatic. The Flyers and Penguins would add to that as they played what was to be the 3rd longest game in NHL history. Overtime after overtime came and went and the game remained tied at one apiece. It was until 12 minutes had elapsed in the 5th overtime that Keith Primeau would go on to be Philadelphia’s savior.
Primeau entered the zone on the right side, made a quick cutback move on Darius Kasparaitus and wristed a shot past Ron Tugnutt, tying the series at two games. From that win, the Flyers gained much-needed momentum as they won the next two games and ended the Penguins’ playoff hopes.
What are some of your most memorable Penguins/Flyers games?