The Penguins and the Flyers. It’s the series of games I always look for to start the season … not just as a photographer, but going back to being a fan of the home team as well.
It’s the matchup you want to be in the stands for, it’s the matchup you pay $400 a ticket to sit on the glass for and it’s the matchup NBC slots at 12:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday to show everyone in the nation.
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Now, when I’d go as a fan, I was expecting brothers Chris and Sean Pronger to mix things up, or for Georges Laraque to make someone pay for inevitably cheap stick play. But those days are gone, and so is the Flyer mentality associated with the old days of the rivalry.
While Penguins vs. Flyers games are still chippy and physical and … extra, they’re more within the boundaries of the skill game and the speed both teams possess. Up top is an example of some of that “extra” as Jamie Oleksiak was made to eat glass by Jori Lehtera amidst a cloud of snow. Let’s take a look at the rest of the photos with a bit more skill and speed than grit:
Derick Brassard gets an early break, compliments of a Conor Sheary flip pass. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Derick Brassard screams in celebration after his opening score. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Tom Kuhnhackl, not a follower of proper mouth guard use. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Phil Kessel looks to pass after dangling Jori Lehtera. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Evgeni Malkin collides with Valtteri Filppula. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Matt Murray celebrates Evgeni Malkin’s 6-on-5 goal in a delayed penalty situation. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
The goalie swap as a loyal subscriber waves “bye” in the background. Hi Saxon! – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Olli Maatta and Sean Couturier fight for a loose puck. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Matt Murray spirits away a Flyers shot. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Olli Maatta defends Wayne Simmonds’ zone entry. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Matt Murray stops Sean Couturier on a rebound chance. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Sidney Crosby turns Sean Couturier around before scoring on a wrist shot. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Sidney Crosby laughs … because … there’s only one of him. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
All three goaltenders from the game had chances to celebrate 6-on-5 goals. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
Kris Letang sends Travis Konecny into the boards. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS
The Penguins hit the ice in celebration of Bryan Rust’s overtime winner. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS