Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers scored seven on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tonight, the Penguins returned the favor.
Through two periods, the Flyers battled the Penguins. They nearly tied the game on two occasions. Twice, Philadelphia trailed Pittsburgh by a single goal. In the third period, the Penguins separated themselves on the scoreboard.
Defensively, the Flyers were passive. Justin Braun and Ivan Provorov weren’t aggressive on the penalty kill, and puck watched a little too often. Braun did answer with a goal, but his defensive woes outweighed positive contributions. Towards the end of regulation, Philadelphia didn’t stay competitive. Mark Friedman scored his second goal of the season (all against the Flyers) to add salt to the wound.
Wrapping up the eight-game season series, Philadelphia finishes 5-3-0 against Pittsburgh. While the Penguins battle for first place in the Mass Mutual Eastern Division, the Flyers obtain bragging rights head-to-head. It just doesn’t feel like something worth celebrating.
Philadelphia can’t stop battling, even without playoff hopes.
Moose For 500
Brian Elliott, the 36-year-old goaltender in his fourteenth season, took the loss in his five-hundredth start. The locker room would have loved to earn the win to sweeten the milestone, but the effort didn’t match. Unfortunately, a loss to the in-state rivals made his start five-hundred bittersweet.
By the time this season finishes, Elliott will likely start as many games as Carter Hart this season. He’s filling in more effectively as the starting goaltender. Elliott is the only Flyers goaltender with a winning record this season (13-9-2.) Tonight’s start meant a lot to him, no matter the result. He’s blessed to have a fruitful NHL career.
“I’m so thankful for everybody along the way.”Brian Elliott; 5/4/21
Personally, this milestone is a special one for Elliott. Throughout his fourteen-year career, he takes pride in competing and mentoring teammates. Most of all, he was able to reach this milestone with his family as witnesses. His wife and kids made the trip to the Wells Fargo Center.
“To play five hundred games in the league is something I’m really proud of. Really happy my wife and kids were there watching.”Brian Elliott; 5/4/21
His time is likely coming to a close in Philadelphia. While a Flyer, he’s made quite the impression in the goaltender rotation, never suffering a losing season.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre