Flyers look to outmuscle Penguins

Expect another physical battle when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.

A return to their roots proved to be just what the Philadelphia Flyers needed.

Down 2-0 in their first-round playoff series with Pittsburgh, the Flyers outmuscled the Penguins in a 6-3 win Sunday on home ice, a physical performance that harkened back to the glory days of the Broad Street Bullies.

Look for the Flyers to be just as physical and keep the pressure on the Penguins when the two Eastern Conference rivals meet Tuesday in Game 4 in Philadelphia (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).


Tuesday evening's Penguins-Flyers game will air on the main CBC network starting at 7 p.m. ET, pre-empting This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Just For Laughs Gags in the process.

At 8 p.m. ET, the network will switch over to Game 4 of the Western Conference quarter-final between the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues, followed by the national broadcast of San Jose at Anaheim at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Television viewers who want to see the remainder of the Flyers-Penguins game can continue to watch on CBC affiliate CHEX-Peterborough-Durham.

At the conclusion of the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh game, CHEX will join the Vancouver-St. Louis matchup in progress.

CHEX is available locally over-the-air in Peterborough-Durham and on Cogeco Cable, and is available nationally to subscribers of Bell TV (Channel 217); Rogers Digital Cable (Channel 129); Shaw Direct (Channel 348); and by special arrangement to EastLink Digital Cable in Atlantic Canada (Channel 539).

Viewers can also log onto to CBCSports.ca and watch both games live and in their entirety.

In the first two games of the series, it was the Penguins who were the more aggressive team, and it looked as though it would be more of the same in Game 3 when Pittsburgh winger Chris Kunitz delivered a bone-crunching hit on Kimmo Timonen early in the first period, plastering the Philadelphia defenceman into the glass.

But it was the Flyers who ended up setting the tone, scoring two early goals and pushing the Penguins around.

In particular, Flyers centre Mike Richards was a physical force, doing his best to take shots at the Penguins' top players.

"Every chance I get I'm trying to hit [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby and I'm taking runs at [Sergei] Gonchar, too. I'm sure they're not too thrilled about that, but that's playoff hockey," Richards said.

The Flyers also benefited from the home-ice advantage Sunday, as a fired-up Philadelphia crowd revved up Richards and his teammates.

Flyers winger Danny Briere said Philadelphia has always been one of the most difficult cities for opposing teams to visit.

"The crowd was wild [Sunday] and got us going early on," he said. "We've got to give them credit for the start we had."

Home-ice advantage also gives the Flyers the last line change, which means coach John Stevens can match Jeff Carter against Crosby and Richards against Malkin like he did in Game 3.

Richards had his hands full with Malkin on Sunday, as the Russian tallied two goals on five shots.

"I don't know what it is with Malkin," Richards said. "The puck just seems to find him. You've got to know he has the puck a lot and wants the puck. He's such a big guy that you're not going to overwhelm him with strength. You just need to keep him to the outside."

Crosby said Carter and Richards pose similar challenges.

"Richards is a little more physical than Carter," said the Penguins captain. "They're both good at both ends."

Stevens indicated he's not looking to get away from any matchups against the Penguins' top two lines and does not want to wear out Richards, who's averaging more than 23 minutes a game in this series.

"I just don't want to get people on the ice who are tired against competitive players like that," Stevens said.

Game 5 of the series goes Thursday in Pittsburgh (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).