The Flyers and Penguins have arguably the best rivalry in the NHL. The in-state rivals hate each other from the coaching staff down to the players and most of their games seem to be classics. The Penguins jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period before the Flyers got on the board on Nicklas Grossmann’s ugly first period goal that saw all five Penguins in the net/crease. Exactly a minute later Wayne Simmonds tied the game on a beautiful goal. The two teams would play a back and forth second period before Jake Voracek gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead with his power play goal with 9.9 seconds remaining. Just 18 seconds into the third period Voracek scored again after a Penguins turnover behind the net. Flyer-killer Tyler Kennedy cut the Flyers lead in half just five minutes later. Two minutes after, Wayne Simmonds scored on a pass to Claude Giroux that was tipped in by Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen. The Penguins would score two goals, aided by consecutive 5-on-3 power plays. Jake Voracek would get a hat trick as he gave the Flyers a 6-5 lead on an impossible shot with 1:30 remaining. The Flyers would go on to win 6-5. More here.
On the eve of the NBA’s trading deadline, the Sixers kicked out their post All-Star Break schedule in Minnesota last night. The Timberwolves were paced by one of their big men not-named Kevin Love. Nikola Pekovic had 27 points and 18 rebounds to help the Timberwolves jump out to a lead. Evan Turner led the hapless Sixers with 17 points and six rebounds. The Timberwolves outscored the 76ers 35-25 in the first quarter and the Sixers trailed by 15 at halftime. The Sixers fought back but it wasn’t enough as they lost 94-87 to fall to 22-30 on the year. More here.
The Houston Rockets are wheeling and dealing before this afternoon’s 3 pm trade deadline. They have traded away former first round pick Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns where he is reunited with his twin brother, Markieff. The Rockets also sent Patrick Patterson to the Sacramento Kings for 2012 No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson. The Rockets also have been linked to Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith and Lakers center Dwight Howard. It could get interesting this afternoon in Houston. More here.