Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux each scored hat-tricks as the Flyers rallied for a thrilling 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, taking a 2-0 lead in their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
Giroux added three assists for Philadelphia, while former Penguins Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr also scored for the visitors.
Ilya Bryzgalov overcame another shaky start to stop 23 shots for the Flyers, who twice trailed by two goals.
Chris Kunitz had two goals for Pittsburgh, while Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy scored for the second straight game, but the Penguins failed to close out the Flyers for the second time in three days.
Pittsburgh also lost the opener of the series after leading by three goals, and their failure to close out both contests leaves it vulnerable as the series moves to Philadelphia for Game 3 today.
DEVILS 3, PANTHERS 2
In Sunrise, Florida, Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots for his 100th post-season victory as New Jersey won and spoiled Florida’s long-awaited return to the playoffs.
Brodeur became only the second goalie to notch three figures in playoff wins, behind Patrick Roy’s 151.
Patrik Elias, Dainius Zubrus and Ryan Carter scored in an 8:25 span in the opening period.
Sean Bergenheim and Kris Versteeg scored for the Panthers, who were playing their first post-season game for 12 years. Coincidentally, their most recent playoff game also saw them lose to Brodeur and the Devils.
RED WINGS 3, PREDATORS 2
In Nashville, Tennessee, Ian White and Cory Emmerton scored in the first period as Detroit got the best kind of revenge by beating Nashville and tying the series 1-1.
Johan Franzen also scored, while Jimmy Howard made 24 saves as the Red Wings responded on the ice to the decision to fine Predators defenseman Shea Weber only US$2,500 for smashing Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass at the end of Game 1.
Todd Bertuzzi also had a stoush with Weber 1:36 into the game and landed a good punch.
Weber and Andrei Kostitsyn scored for Nashville.
Game 3 is today in Detroit, Michgan.
KINGS 4, CANUCKS 2
In Vancouver, Dustin Brown notched his first playoff hat-trick as Los Angeles beat top-seeded Vancouver to take a 2-0 series lead.
Brown had two short-handed goals and also scored on a power play, two nights after capping the Kings’ 4-2 Game 1 victory with an empty-net goal.
He opened the scoring with a short-handed goal with nine seconds left in the first period, gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with another short-handed goal at 5 minutes, 17 seconds of the second, and completed the hat-trick on a power play at 8:30 of the third. Trevor Lewis made it 4-1 with 5:09 left.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 46 saves, including 22 in the third period, allowing only Samuel Pahlsson’s goal with 3:38 to play. Jannik Hansen also scored for the Canucks.
Game 3 is today in Los Angeles.