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Flyers Snap Penguins Streak, Retake First Place – SportsUntapped.com
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Added December 15th, 2010 by Chalk

Flyers Snap Penguins Streak, Retake First Place
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The Pittsburgh Penguins entered last night’s game in Philadelphia riding a 12-game winning streak and having the best record in the NHL, but they left a second-place team after falling to the Flyers 3-2. With their third win in four tries against Pittsburgh this season, the Flyers took over first place in the division and conference, and the NHL’s best record at 20-7-5.

“It’s as big a win as you can have in December,” said Flyers captain Mike Richards. The Flyers never trailed in Tuesday’s game, and led for over 35 minutes. Philadelphia went up for good 9:54 left in the game, when Scott Hartnell scored on the power play, redirecting a Chris Pronger wrist shot. The Penguins had trailed for less than 29 minutes in their past 13 games.

The Penguins had a chance at the end of the game, when a power play and a pulled goalie gave them a 6-on-4 for the final 67 seconds, but couldn’t solve Flyers goalie Brian Boucher. It was Boucher’s third consecutive start, and he made 21 saves to earn the win, then joked that the Flyers took that final penalty to give themselves a challenge. “The only real chances they had were on the power play, and that’s going to happen,” said Boucher, who made 21 saves in his third straight start. “It’s going to be tough to keep them in check on the power play. But we had a huge kill at the end. We took the penalty at the end for a few drama points.

This is the fastest the Flyers have reached 20 wins since 1984. One year ago, the Flyers were 15-16-1 and near the bottom of the league. “The work will continue,” promised Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “We’re about to load the plane and go to Montreal [tonight], where they’re sitting and waiting for us, probably licking their chops. They’re waiting to get a piece of us.”

Wednesday night, the Flyers visit the 18-10-2 Montreal Canadiens. Montreal’s lost two straight but is still in first in the Northeast Division. The Canadians are 11-4-2 at home this season; the Flyers are 9-2-3 on the road.

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