PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins carved their cross-state rival and aptly dressed in orange and black Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night. Before the first period completed the game was over as the Penguins scored, again, and again, and again en route to a four-goal first period and a 7-1 win over Philadelphia at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins scored three goals over 2:51 in the first half of the first period, as Dominik Kahun created turnovers to set up Justin Schultz then Jared McCann. Dominik Simon continued a season of exemplary play and adding to the scoreboard. He scored a goal then zipped a pass through traffic to Sidney Crosby for the fourth goal.
The Penguins had a few scoring chances in the opening minutes but the first marker was a softy. FIve minutes into the game, after Kahun backchecked to create a turnover, Schultz (1) floated the puck to the net and over Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliot’s shoulder.
Kahun struck again two minutes later. He won a scrum to the side of the net and set up McCann (4) on the doorstep for an uncontested chip into the net. The Pittsburgh crowd buoyed by the Halloween theme and fun chants from local radio hosts Mikey and Big Bob was Kiss 96.1 was just getting warmed up.
Simon (2) continued the Penguins domination (“dom”ination, get it?) midway through the first period. Simon followed Sidney Crosby into the offensive zone, then peeled off for a clean look at Elliott from the hash marks. He didn’t miss.
Simon also set up the Penguins fourth goal of the first period. The Penguins oft downgraded winger grabbed a turnover at center ice and streaked into the Philadelphia zone. Crosby (5) curled towards the passing lane and Simon’s pass was on Crosby’s tape a moment later. Crosby paused, found the proper shooting lane and spot and it was 4-0.
Eventually, the game stabilized and the Penguins no longer had as many goals as Philadelphia had shots. However, the Penguins still treated themselves and tricked Philadelphia by holding the puck for the majority of the second period and drawing a pair of penalties.
Late in the period, the Penguins added to the party atmosphere with another pair of quickies while Elliott was grousing about getting black licorice and popcorn balls. First, Jake Guentzel scored the Penguins top line’s third goal of the game. As he and Crosby dug for a puck around a sprawled Elliott, Guentzel (7) snapped it through the felled goalie and inches across the line.
Simon also assisted and achieved a three-point game.
While Elliott was still angry, 20 seconds later Zach Aston-Reese deflected Jack Johnson’s shot past Elliott, too. Philadelphia goalie Carter Hart played the third period. Elliott stopped 22 of 28 shots.
The Penguins led 6-0 after two periods and Elliott didn’t have to finish the onslaught. Philadelphia did break the shutout two minutes into the third period. Oskar Lindblom whistled a wrister through Penguins goalie Matt Murray from the right-wing circle.
Not to be outdone amongst the “dons”, Kahun added a 7th and final goal with just seconds left in the game.
Murray stopped 29 of 30 shots and improved his record to 7-3-0.
Before the game, the Penguins activated defenseman Brian Dumoulin and forward Alex Galchenyuk. Dumoulin did not have a point but was a plus-three Dominik Kahun scored a last-second goal, just for fun.