By Andrew Muckin
WHIP Sports Blogger
One bad penalty and the walls come crashing down.
That could basically sum up what happened to the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday night against the
Pittsburgh Penguins, as they lost 2-1 in overtime, at the Console Energy Center. This drops the Flyers’ record to 13-16-2 for the season.
For about 53 minutes, the Flyers played a solid game keeping the highest scoring offense in the
league scoreless for most of the game, and their season-high 11 game winning streak in jeopardy.
But 12:52 into the second period, Wayne Simmonds took a bad slashing penalty to send Pittsburgh on the power-play. 23 seconds later, Kimmo Timonen got called for a hooking penalty, to give the Penguins a 5-on-3. Sidney Crosby scored 31 seconds into the 5-on-3 to tie the game.
Pittsburgh’s Tyler Kennedy then scored in overtime to win the game for the penguins and extend their winning streak to 12 games, and boost their record to 25-8-0. Good for first in the Easter conference.
It was a disappointing loss for the Flyers who thought they played well.
“Three-on-five, it kind of killed us with that goal,” Flyers forward Max Talbot said. “It’s disappointing.
“It was right in our reach with six minutes to play there. We played a good road game. We kept it simple.”
The goaltenders were sharp in this game with Ilya Bryzgalov making 33 saves and Marc-Andre Fleury making 27 saves.
The low scoring game is something new for these two clubs. In the playoffs last year, these two teams combined to score 56 goals in six games. And in their previous three meeting this season both teams combined to score 24 goals.
The Flyers inability to score in the third period still continues to haunts them. The Flyers have only scored 20 third period goals all year long which are 28th in the league. They have also given up 32 third period goals, which is the 7th most in the league.
The Flyers lone goal came from Captain Claude Giroux in the second-period on a power-play, his 10th goal of the season.
Absent from the game for Philadelphia was defenseman Nickalas Grossman, and forward Daniel Briere. Grossman is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and Briere is out indefinitely with a concussion. Both sustained injuries in separate practices before the game. Pittsburgh was once again without Evgeni Malkin, out for the eighth straight game with a shoulder injury, and Kris Letang out for the third straight game with a lower-body injury.
The Flyers now come home for five games, where they are 9-4-1, and hope to acquire some much needed points, to help their slim playoff hopes. They are currently five points behind the number eight seed New York Rangers, who the Flyers will play on Wednesday night. They then go on to play the Islanders, the Bruins, the Capitals, and the Canadians.
Philadelphia is currently 13th in the Eastern Conference with 27 points and only 17 games left to play in the shortened season.
Andrew Muckin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org