Thursday, April 23, 2009

Biron's 28-save performance helps Flyers stave off elimination

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

Martin Biron stopped all 28 shots he faced as the Philadelphia Flyers staved off elimination with a 3-0 decision over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal from Mellon Arena.

Biron posted his second career postseason shutout for the effort, the first time the Flyers have blanked the Penguins in a playoff game in their five- series history. The Quebec native's first playoff whitewash came in Game 2 of an Eastern quarterfinal at Washington on April 13, 2008.

Arron Asham, Claude Giroux and Mike Knuble lit the lamp for Philadelphia, which cut its series deficit to 3-2 and return home for Game 6 on Saturday. The orange and black recorded their first road playoff win since May 3, 2008, in a series-clinching Game 5 of the Eastern semifinals at Montreal.

Following a 45-save performance in a Game 4 victory on Monday, Marc-Andre Fleury allowed three goals on 26 shots for the Penguins.

Giroux gave Philly a two-goal edge 3:25 into the third period. Matt Carle fluttered the puck from the point into the slot for Darroll Powe, who tipped it over to the rookie winger for an easy tap-in at the left side.

It was 3-0 for the Flyers with 6:48 left in regulation. Fleury kicked out a scorcher by Mike Richards from the left circle, but Knuble followed up by burying the rebound from the right wing.

A Penguins power play coupled with Fleury's removal for an extra attacker briefly gave the home team a 6-on-4 advantage inside the final two minutes, but the home team failed to hit the net despite strong play in their attacking zone until the buzzer.

The win was especially sweet for the visitors, who suffered an embarrassing, series-ending 6-0 defeat last May against a much more potent Pittsburgh club in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Following a scoreless first period which saw the Penguins hold a 15-5 shot advantage, the Flyers took a 1-0 lead 6:32 into the second. Dan Carcillo, who potted the Flyers' lone score in Game 4, left a drop pass for Asham, who hammered a shot over Fleury's shoulder.

Pittsburgh could have tied the game at 8:25, but Evgeni Malkin was ruled to have kicked the puck from the right side of the crease past a sliding Biron.

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