Vora-Trick: Jakub Voracek's Hat Trick Wins Game for the Flyers
It was Rival Night on NBC, and the Flyers and Penguins delivered.
Jakub Voracek's hat trick goal proved to be the game-winner in a wild 6-5 victory for the Flyers at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The game featured lead changes and blown leads,
The opening 10 minutes of the first period looked to be damning for the Flyers.
Playing completely flat-footed against a faster team almost spelled their early demise. Pittsburgh scored two quick goals, and possibly a third, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and 12-2 shot advantage.
Matt Niskanen fired a wrister from the blue line that beat Ilya Bryzgalov to make it 1-0. Bryzgalov was screened and didn't see the puck until it whizzed by his right arm.
Pittsburgh nearly added their second goal less than a minute later. Evgeni Malkin fired a wrister that was gloved by Bryzgalov, but the puck appeared to be in the net. After a review, the replays was inconclusive as to whether or not the puck was in the net.
That was all fine for the Penguins, and Malkin, who redeemed the goal a minute later on the same power play. Paul Martin fired a slap shot that ricocheted of the back boards and onto the stick of Malkin, who put it into the open net to make it a 2-0 game.
The Flyers finally countered the Penguins attack and got on the board with 8:11 left in the period. After a mad scramble in front of the net in which the referees never lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle, Nicklas Grossmann found the net amidst a sea of bodies to cut the Penguins lead to 2-1.
Wayne Simmonds tied the game up a minute later, scoring from the low slot to beat Tomas Vokoun. Less than a minute after his goal, he answered the call from Tanner Glass and the two traded a flurry of punches in a first period draw.
Before the game, Glass called Flyers winger Danny Briere a dirty player. When asked after the game about the comments, Briere said, "honestly, I didn't even know who he was."
The second period saw another even effort, but the Flyers capitalized where it mattered.
Voracek made the Penguins and Craig Adams pay for his elbow with 1:32 left. Voracek scored on the power play with only 10 seconds remaining in the period, burying a juicy rebound left by Vokoun to make it a 3-2 game.
Voracek scored his second goal of the game early in the third period to make it 4-2. Just 18 seconds into the period, Voracek capitalized on an out-of-position Vokoun to beat him for his fifth goal of the season.
The rest of the third period proved to be a mad scramble for both teams.
Pittsburgh cut the lead in half thanks to Tyler Kennedy's goal five minutes later. But Simmonds had the answer with his second goal of the game, making it a 5-3 affair.
The Penguins stormed back in the final eight minutes, capitalizing on sloppy play and loose officiating by the refs. Mike Knuble was hit for a four-minute high sticking penalty and Ruslan Fedotenko was hit with a high sticking penalty of his own to give the Penguins a 5-on-3 advantage.
James Neal scored right away on the power play, making it a 5-4 game. Then Max Talbot took a delay of game penalty and put the Penguins back on the two-man advantage.
But the video reviews fell in favor of the Flyers again. Chris Kunitz kicked in the game-tying goal, but had the goal overturned after review.
But like in the first period, the Penguins rallied to score the game-tying goal, coming off the stick of Brandon Sutter with 2:03 remaining in the game.
Voracek then came through in the clutch, netting the game-winner after banking the puck off of Vokoun to seal a huge Atlantic Division win for the Flyers.
Voracek now has 15 points in his last 10 games including three goals and four assists in his last two.