Steve Sullivan, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy scored and the Pittsburgh Penguins fended off elimination with a 3-2 comeback victory over the Flyers on Friday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves - including a series of big stops in the third period - to help Pittsburgh cut Philadelphia's lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Matt Carle and Scott Hartnell scored power-play goals in the first period for Philadelphia, but the Flyers failed to close out Pittsburgh for the second straight game.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 20 shots.
Following four wild games that featured a record 45 goals, the teams played something more closely resembling playoff hockey.
On the brink of having a season with Stanley Cup hopes come to a stunningly quick end, however, the Penguins responded by ditching flashy play for more basic, responsible hockey.
It was enough to send the series back to Philadelphia, where the pressure will be squarely on the Flyers, who are hoping to avoid the same fate as the 2010 Boston Bruins.
Philadelphia lost the first three games of its Eastern Conference semifinal series only to roar back and win on its way to an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals. The Flyers know the Penguins are brimming with confidence. They're hardly worried even though they haven't scored an even strength goal since the third period of Game 3.
“We've got to find a way to get that fourth one,” Philadelphia forward Claude Giroux said. “It's probably the hardest game to win. We've just got to get it done.”
Game 6 is Sunday in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center at noon. The game airs on NBC10.
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