Flyers recap: Another game, another goalie switch,another loss to the Penguins

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The Philadelphia Flyers began a brief 3-game road trip in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. The Flyers came in having recorded a point in 4 consecutive games. This recent 3-0-1 stretch has come on the heels of a 1-6-1 slump. The Flyers are 7-3-2 in their last 12 games in Pittsburgh; however are only 1-3-1 in more recent trips to PPG Paints Arena. The Flyers were trying to avoid a season series sweep to their cross-state and divisional rivals. The Flyers and the Penguins is a potential first round playoff preview.

Both goalies were sharp early as each made nice saves within the first 2 minutes of the game.  The Flyers got the scoring started with a goal from Travis Sanheim at 5:03 of the period. The goal was Sanheim’s 2nd of the season and first since his recall from the Phantoms.  Derick Brassard answered for the Penguins about four and half minutes later with his 21st goal of the season. It was Brassard’s 3rd goal as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Brandon Manning capped the first period scoring with his 7th goal of the season.  The Flyers outshot the Penguins 14-6 and took a 2-1 lead into the intermission.

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The Penguins started off the second period on the power play. They wasted no time in tying the game 2-2 on Patric Hornqvist’s 24th goal of the season.  The Penguins struck again quickly on a delayed penalty exactly two minutes later. Evgeni Malkin scored his 42nd of the season and gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead. Malkin’s goal also signaled the end of the game for Flyers goalie, Alex Lyon.   The Penguins held the lead until the latter stages of the second period.  Jordan Weal scored his 8th goal of the season, this one on the power play, to tie the game 3-3. Weal slammed home the rebound off of a Shayne Gostisbehere shot before Matt Murray could get back into position.  With Petr Mrazek now in goal, the Flyers finished the second period with the game tied.

Any momentum the Flyers might’ve had from the late second period goal, did not carry over into the third period.  Aided by a failed clearing attempt, Sidney Crosby was able to score his 26th goal of the season. The goal was scored just 17 seconds into the period and gave the Pens a 4-3 lead.  The Flyers had plenty of opportunities, but nothing to show for them until late in the third period.  Sean Couturier, who was beaten badly on the Crosby goal, scored his 31st goal of the season.  Couturier’s goal came with 43 seconds left in the game and sent the game into overtime tied 4-4.

The Pittsburgh Penguins took control of the overtime period from the opening faceoff.  Bryan Rust scored his 13th goal of the season about half way into the period. In a game where the Flyers outshot the Pens 45-32, they were unable to prevent a Penguins a 5-4 win.  The Flyers have been swept in their season series (0-2-2) with the Penguins for the first time since 2006-2007. They did managed to obtain a much needed point and have now gotten at least a point in five consecutive games (3-0-2).

A Look at the Numbers

Flyers defencemen are tied for 2nd in the NHL with 46 goals

Sean Couturier had only 1 goal in his previous 17 games before his game-tying 3rd period goal

With an assist on Couturier’s game-tying goal Claude Giroux has at least 1 point in 16 of his last 18 games

Claude Giroux (460) is now only 3 assists shy of tying Bill Barber (463) for 4th on the Flyers all-time assists list

Andrew MacDonald is a +9 over his last 6 games

Nolan Patrick has no goals in his last 11 games, but has 5 assists in that span

Travis Sanheim is +7 in his last 8 games since returning to the NHL

Jordan Weal with 1 goal and 2 assists ended his 6 game pointless streak

The Flyers are now 38-25-13, 89 points – tied for 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division with the Columbus Blue Jackets

My Three Stars

  1. Jordan Weal (PHI) – 1G 2A 3P
  2. Sidney Crosby (PIT) – 1G 1A 2P, +2, 4SOG
  3. Brandon Manning (PHI) – 1G, +1, 4SOG, 3Takeaways, 19:04TOI

What’s Next

The Flyers continue their 3-game road trip in Dallas against the Stars on Tuesday, March 27th.  Broadcast: NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic at 8:30PM.

The Flyers are 1-0-0 vs. the Stars this season with a 2-1 OT win at Wells Fargo Center on December 16, 2017.  The Flyers are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Stars and 2-3-0 in their last 5 games in Dallas.

 

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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