National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Flyers' Sean Couturier played with torn MCL

Arnold Nichols
April 23, 2018

Blame an offense that, with the Flyers trailing by just a goal, had no shots in the first 11-plus minutes of the third period.

After returning from injury on Friday and scoring the game-winning goal, he recorded five points on Sunday - factoring in all five Flyers goals - and recorded his second career postseason hat trick.

Meanwhile, the Penguins don't want to wait until Game 7 to close this first round series out.

But it's fair to question the contributions of top forwards Claude Giroux (one goal, two assists), Jake Voracek (no goals, three assists) and Simmonds (no goals, two assists). Under third-year coach Dave Hakstol, this season's berth was considered a mild surprise, especially when the team lost 10 straight games in November/December and all seemed lost.

Tim Kerr of the Philadelphia Flyers also did it in Game 3 of the 1985 quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.

Guentzel made a decision to keep his hot streak going with a goal 30 seconds into the third period.

The Flyers now have themselves one of the best two-way centres in the league - and they have him at a very cap friendly $4.33 million hit until the end of the 2021-22 season. That's the longest stretch in franchise history.

After missing Game 4 with a lower-body injury, Couturier extended his team's season at least two more days by picking up his second goal of the series.

Guentzel didn't just join Mario Lemieux and Kevin Stevens as the only Penguins with four or more goals in a playoff game.

"Mur-ray... Mur-ray... Mur-ray", the fans chanted sarcastically.

Uncharacteristically sloppy play, turnovers and a lack of finish plagued the Penguins in their Game 5 loss.

Yet another Gudas turnover led to the game-tying goal with 54 remaining left in the second. "It happened quick. It looked like we were in control of the game and they got two quick goals there". Michal Neuvirth and mid-season pickup Petr Mrazek weren't true No. 1s, either.

Feeding off a frenetic crowd, Couturier charged the net, dug out the puck from a handful of Penguins and scored just 2:15 into the game. Couturier scored his second of the game on a lovely breakaway to open the second period and Scott Laughton scored on a long wrister and almost pulled off a Lambeau Leap over the boards in celebration.

The Flyers opened up a 7-1 lead in shots, but the Penguins stormed back.

Penguins Evgeni Malkin missed practice Saturday, and his status for Game 6 is unknown. Showing the poise of a two-time defending champion, they scored two goals 47 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead. Filppula failed to pick up Crosby, who was all alone. The Flyers defenseman played over 30 minutes in Game 5 but late in the game, Provorov crashed into the boards following a collision with Penguins defender Brian Dumoulin.

Couturier lifted a pass for Scott Laughton who was streaking down the ice.

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