The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to get things going in Pittsburgh against the Penguins. This is the first of three-straight games against the Penguins this week.
Welcome to Fleeting Flyers Thoughts. Rather than having just a standard postgame recap, we’re going to go period by period with thoughts, analysis, and whatever comes across our minds.
Sometimes plays that are important in the first period get cut out of the bigger story of the game. Fleeting Flyers Thoughts is an attempt to give an accurate picture of how the game unfolds.
We’ll update this at every intermission, and keep an eye out for the “Final Thoughts” after the final horn.
Flyers at Penguins second-period thoughts
Score: 1-3 | Shots: 26-19 (12-14 in 2nd period)
The second period was all Penguins. They got momentum after a turnover and didn’t let it go.
The Flyers had an expected goals for of just 32.02% (0.49-1.05) at 5-on-5 play in the second period.
- The second period opened up a bit more. The teams traded goals off the rush in the opening minutes.
- Sean Couturier picked off a pass in the neutral zone before starting a give-and-goal with Joel Farabee. Couturier made a spinning pass to Farabee to enter the zone, and the youngster sent it back to Coots, jumped over a defenseman, and crashed the net to slam it home.
- Unfortunately, the Penguins got it right back after Shayne Gostisbehere made a bad cross-ice pass at the point. Kasperi Kapanen stole the puck and scored on a breakaway.
- It was a really bad sequence of plays for Gostisbehere, who had another turnover – this time in the defensive zone – shortly thereafter. He then got beat to the net and Hart was forced to make another tough save.
- Unfortunately, after trading goals, the Penguins piled it on.
- Kapanen scored another goal, this time on the power play, with some weak defense from the Flyers in front. That’s been a common theme on the penalty kill this season and the Flyers absolutely have to improve upon that.
- Kapanen nearly scored a natural hat trick, but Hart robbed him to keep it a one-goal game… for now.
- Two minutes after Kapanen made it 2-1, the Penguins scored an easy goal in front to go up by two goals.
- The Penguins had two forwards in front of Hart just waiting for a deflection or rebound. Rust got the rebound to put the Penguins up 3-1.
- Pittsburgh continued to drive play for the rest of the period until Malkin took a tripping penalty in the final seconds.
Flyers at Penguins first-period thoughts
Score: 0-0 | Shots: 12-5
This is a game where the raw shot totals aren’t showing the true picture. The Flyers have a 12-5 SOG advantage, but the Penguins lead in scoring chances (5-1) and expected goals (0.26-0.22) during 5-on-5 play.
- The Flyers got two early power plays but were unable to do anything with them.
- The first power play had an early chance by the top unit and then a pair of point shots by Shayne Gostisbehere to create some havoc in front of the net. The second unit struggled, however.
- Having Gostisbehere back on the top unit should help. He is great at keeping the puck in the zone at the blue line and has a good shot as well.
- Those struggles carried over to the second power play. Neither unit could really get anything going.
- The Flyers missed an opportunity to get an early lead and it may come back to haunt them. The Penguins are shorthanded without Sidney Crosby, but they could get momentum from killing the penalties, especially with fans in the stands for the first time this season.
- After entering the zone with speed, Jakub Voracek attempted a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone that went right to a Penguin, causing an odd-man rush the other way. Luckily, the Flyers kept them to the outside and Scott Laughton made a good poke check in the defensive zone.
- It was mostly a slow period after those first two power plays. Both teams weren’t taking too many chances. They were taking away lanes and feeling each other out a bit.
- The first line got caught in deep for a four-on-two against led by Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, but Carter Hart bailed them out after the puck deflected off Ivan Provorov’s stick.
- Starting Konecny on the fourth line wasn’t ideal, but he’s a great luxury to have on it. Michael Raffl and Connor Bunnaman do the little things and Konecny usually has some space to work with.
- The Penguins had another good chance off the rush, but Hart made a good save on the tip in front to keep it out.
- Pittsburgh is starting to get the better of the chances in the latter half of the period.
- The Flyers got it back a bit with the second line generating a cycle and one-time shot from the point by Philippe Myers.
- It went back the other way, however, with the Penguins hemming the second line in the zone. That forced a hooking penalty on Claude Giroux in the final seconds of the period.