BY KATIE JOHNSTONE
SC Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins added another chapter to their storied rivalry back on Wednesday, February 20.
The game, which ended with a 6-5 Flyers win, was part of the NBC Sport’s Network’s new Wednesday night National Hockey League game. Known as the “Wednesday Night Rivalry”, each week features a marquee match-up between two rival teams.
The highly anticipated game showcased a 46 year-old rivalry, between the two teams, which has become more intense after the Penguins joined the Flyers in the Atlantic Division.
The Wednesday night game had fans on the edge of their seats for every play. Whether you’ve been a dedicated fan or are just starting to understand hockey, it doesn’t take long to realize that these two teams flat out do not like each other
In the 1st period, within the first five minutes, the Penguins took the lead when Matt Niskanen scored, followed by a power play goal from Evgeni Malkin which made it 2-0 Penguins.
Nicklas Grossmann scored later in the period amongst a scrum of players in front of the net to put the Flyers on the board. Exactly one minute later, Wayne Simmonds tied the game at two after powering his way to the net.
After nearly 20 minutes of scoreless hockey, Jake Voracek scored with just 10 seconds remaining in the second period to give the Flyers the 3-2 lead.
The third period saw more back and forth action as the teams traded goals. The Flyers were up 4-2 when the Penguins came back to tie the game (even after Chris Kunitz’ tying goal was disallowed after it was determined to have been kicked in).
Shortly after the Penguins battled back to tie the game on a wrap-around goal from Brandon Sutter, Jake Voracek tied the game after his shot from behind the net somehow found its way past Tomas Vokoun.
The goal gave Voracek his first career hat trick, and it gave the Flyers a 6-5 lead, which they would hold onto to win the game.
The game, nearly two weeks ago, is merely one example of the boiled blood between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The rivalry between these two Pennsylvania teams has been referred to “the best rivalry in the NHL” according to Bleacher Report.
This game, which many fans and analysts alike called the game of the year, added to the intensity of the NBC Sports Network’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry”, which is the new name given to the Wednesday night game broacast nationally on the NBC Sports Network starting this season.
The National Hockey League’s weekly national telecast has showcased some of the NHL’s biggest rivalries so far. Some of the other rivalries that have been fetured are: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins, among others.
The next “Wednesday Night Rivalry” game will feature the Philadelphia Flyers facing off against the New Jersey Devils on March 13th at 7:30 on the NBC Sports Network.
As for the Battle of Pennsylvania, the Flyers and the Penguins will hit the ice again on Thursday March 7th at 7:00pm (NHL Network, Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia).
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