It’s been nearly a decade since they instantly played classic playoff series, but the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers is intensifying, with Sidney Crosby at the forefront.
Crosby has dominated the Flyers with 29 points in their last 18 games against interstate opponents, and the Penguins superstar was back with a smooth finish on Tuesday to give his team a 3-0 lead. It’s such a bold ending that Flyer’s defender Ivan Provorov looked helpless despite being a long way from Crosby’s first victim.
Philadelphia was eliminated from the playoff competition, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to play. Crosby bumped into Sean Couturier after the whistle and Travis Konecny got none of it.
Both players wrestled to the ground and Konecny briefly put Crosby in a head lock. While not known for his physical play, Crosby is reasonably good at defending himself and won the exchange by holding Konecny after using his extraordinary lower body strength to get out of the headlock. Most importantly, given recent events in the East Division, it is important that no one was injured.
The recent history of the penguin aviator rivalry is full of heated fights as both teams scored a total of 309 penalty minutes in their 2012 series, but there were also 56 goals in this first-round matchup, an ideal combination of grit and talent display, with the Flyers show up in six games. There are still a few holdovers from each team, with Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang all looking for their fourth Stanley Cup ring while Couturier and Claude Giroux are the Flyers’ veterans.
Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby continues to torment the Philadelphia Flyers. (Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
More recently, the Penguins eliminated the Flyers in 2018 before losing to eventual Stanley Cup champions Washington Capitals.
Crosby is quietly having another great year with 21 goals and 57 points in 52 games ahead of Tuesday’s competition. With the regular season ending, Crosby appears to be in tip-top shape in every facet of his game.
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