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Flyers, Penguins Hold Game 1 Rerun in Game 2 Flyers' Rally: A Fan's Recap - Yahoo! Sports

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Flyers, Penguins Hold Game 1 Rerun in Game 2 Flyers' Rally: A Fan's Recap - Yahoo! Sports
Apr 14th 2012, 12:55

The Philadelphia Flyers make fans like myself feel like we're living in the movie "Groundhog Day." Without fail, the Flyers do the same thing over and over by falling behind very early and getting blown out in the first period - only to dominate the second and third period anyway. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Penguins are not so happy about their own personal "Groundhog Day" after their Game 1 collapse repeated itself in Game 2 on April 13.

The only difference between the starts of Game 1 and Game 2 was that the Flyers scored a goal in the first period of Game 2. Otherwise, the Penguins repeated history by getting two goals in the opening minutes and a crushing goal at the very end of the first. Then the Flyers repeated history by rallying back - this time for an 8-5 regulation win instead of a 4-3 overtime victory.

This latest rally was more back and forth than the first, as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh actually traded goals this time. To the Penguins' credit, after the Flyers tied the score at 3-3 in the second period, they actually got a fourth goal moments later. Yet Philadelphia was the team that got a shocking goal at the end of this period, as Sean Couturier locked it up with three seconds to spare.

Couturier then waited just 17 seconds after the Penguins took the lead back to get his second tally. The nightmare was on for Pittsburgh after that, as newfound public enemy No. 1 Jaromir Jagr rubbed it in by getting what turned out to be the game-winning strike. To ensure that it was, Couturier and Claude Giroux both completed hat tricks in the final two minutes.

Two hat tricks in one game, a Jagr winning goal and a win in regulation were some of the only things that separated Game 2 from Game 1. Otherwise, the Flyers and Penguins just repeated the same formula from 48 hours earlier - a fairly one-sided formula at that. It isn't even a new formula, since Philadelphia did it to Pittsburgh twice in the final weeks of the regular season.

Even comebacks like this are starting to get routine, since we know exactly what's going to happen every time. The Penguins will look ready to blow the Flyers off the ice, then relax just long enough to find themselves tied or behind before they know it. By the time they do know it, not even Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin can save them - and Marc-Andre Fleury certainly isn't up to the task.

This routine has taken place four times already - and if it happens for a fifth and sixth time before this series ends, no one will be shocked anymore. In fact, this series may actually end before it even goes back to Pittsburgh at this rate.

If the Penguins want to play another game there this season, they'll have to borrow the Flyers' formula of rallying to win on the road. It would seem that falling behind early is the only way to win in this rivalry these days - although Philadelphia remains the only one to figure that out.

Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident and a Flyers fan since the age of eight.

Other stories from this contributor

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Flyers can no longer settle for split with Penguins

Briere gets revenge over Penguins with another playoff explosion

Penguins can't even hold lead over Flyers in playoffs

Flyers look to break postseason losing streak to Penguins

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