There is no doubt in my mind that this game turned on Daniel Carcillo's fight with Max Talbot.
The Flyers had the Pens right where they wanted them, up 3-0 with about 16 minutes remaining in the second period. The Pens had played well and had nothing to show for it. Worse yet, they were in a serious hole. It was looking like Game 7 was likely.
That's when Carcillo couldn't help himself, and fought Talbot. He plastered him pretty well too, but the Pens were the ones that delivered the knockout blow. They scored 14 seconds later and the momentum permanently shifted.
The Pens got their goals by going to the net. Fedotenko knocked a loose puck from under Biron's pads for the first. Eaton batted a puck out of mid-air past Biron for the second. Crosby batted a puck juggled by Biron for the third. Gonchar put the Pens into the lead for good. Sid added an empty-netter to finish things off.
Fleury was great after the fight. He got some help from his defense and the crossbar (on Giroux's shot in the third), and he made an amazing save on Lupul coming across the crease with 5 minutes to go.
The media must have been chanting "Crosby Sucks!" right along with the fans, because I'm not sure how he's not one of the three stars. He led all forwards in ice time, scored two goals, led all players with 7 shots. In short, he stepped up, big time, when his team needed it most.
Sid isn't the only one that rose to the occasion. Geno seemed to wake up after the fight. When the two best players in hockey are both going full steam, five unanswered goals isn't out of the conversation.
I don't blame Carcillo exclusively for the fight. I'd put more of the blame on the entire atmosphere of the arena. If that's a road game, I don't think Carcillo even thinks about fighting, but with the goons in the stands cheering like a bunch of apes, he was more than willing. I'm so glad he did.
Great, great win for the Pens. It's on to the second round and it's time to hit the links for the Flyers.
Next up: The second round - opponent yet to be determined (the only team left that cannot play the Pens are the Rangers).