The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t continue their winning streak on Tuesday night. The Pittsburgh Penguins put an end to that as the Flyers lost 5-2 to start the three-game series between the two Pennsylvania teams.
Joel Farabee scored the Flyers two goals and Carter Hart was sharp despite his stat line. The defense, however, was not. There were several defensive breakdowns that resulted in either goals against or huge saves by Hart.
The Penguins were without captain Sidney Crosby, who was added to the NHL COVID list on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop them.
The Flyers got two early power plays but were unable to do anything with them. That set the tone for the rest of the game in Pittsburgh. They missed an opportunity to get an early lead and it came back to haunt them.
There weren’t too many notable plays in the first period. It felt like the early stages of a playoff series at times, which makes sense given that this was the first of three straight meetings. The teams were feeling each other out in a scoreless first period.
The second period is where things really went downhill. But it didn’t start that way.
The Flyers actually opened the scoring thanks to a great play by the top line. Sean Couturier stole the puck in the neutral zone and got a rush going. He and Joel Farabee exchanged a few passes before the youngster slammed it home to get the Flyers on the board.
That gave the Flyers some energy, but it was quickly taken away.
That pass was just the start of a bad sequence for Gostisbehere. He had another turnover, this time in the defensive zone, that Hart was forced to erase. But that wasn’t all, he then got beat to the net and Hart had to make another tough save.
Gostisbehere’s mistakes will be pointed out, but it was a bad defensive game all around for the Flyers.
That was evident on the Penguins’ next two goals. First, Kapanen got his second of the game on the power play. Travis Sanheim was forced to cover three Penguins down low and Pittsburgh deposited the puck into a wide-open cage.
Then, just over two minutes later, the Penguins had not one but two unmarked men in front of the net. Bryan Rust easily put home the rebound to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead.
It was all Penguins in the second period, but the Flyers were only down by two goals heading into the third period with a power play.
Unfortunately, it was deja vu for the Flyers as they couldn’t take advantage of two power plays early in the period. They actually had the better of the play in the frame and got back within one goal thanks to the top line yet again. However, the Penguins also quickly answered again with a goal just 68 seconds later. Our old friend Mark Friedman had the primary assist on the goal.
The Penguins then scored a goal with Hart skating to the bench for an extra attacker to put the game away.
The Flyers didn’t play as poorly as the 5-2 final score shows, but they certainly didn’t play well. They had their scoring chances but just couldn’t put them home.
They’ll have a chance to get back in the win column on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.