The Flyers dropped the final game of the three game series against the Penguins. They seemed to run out of steam as the Penguins gained momentum as the game progressed.
CF:6 CA:6 CF%: 50.00% ZENO:8
The first period was marred by penalties that served to disrupt 5 V. 5 play. There were only twelve 5 V 5 chances in the period, split evenly between the two teams. The Flyers seemed to have the better of the play but were undone by their poor penalty killing.
The Flyers had eight controlled zone entries that generated no chances. In a period when chances were at a premium, it would have been nice to convert the zone entries to attempts. It was not all bad, however, as two of the ZENOs were cut short by Penguins’ penalties, two others resulted in extended zone time.
The Flyers ended the period down 2 -1 courtesy of the Pens’ powerplay
CF:6 CA:9 CF%: 40% ZENO:4
The Flyers would forge their way into the lead, scoring on the powerplay and during a stretch of 4 V 4 play that they controlled. Unfortunately, they were also a bit more vulnerable to Crosby and his lines efforts, which were able to create Flyers’ defensive zone turnovers.
Even though the Pens’ would get the advantage in chances, the Flyers were able to contain their offense. The lone Penguins’ goal was shot from a sharp angle along the boards, hardly a high danger chance. That goal would tie the game and shift the momentum towards the Penguins.
CF:11 CA:14 CF%: 44% ZENO:3
The Flyers seemed to have lost some of their mojo between periods, perhaps a bit deflated by the soft goal they allowed. The Penguins pounced, forcing them into consecutive icings that pinned Lindblom, Giroux, NAK, Sanheim and Prosser deep in their own end. The Flyers’ players were exhausted, while the Penguins were able to rotate the Crosby and Malkin lines, keeping both stars fresh. The icing’s led directly to a 4-0 Pittsburg advantage in chances and a prolonged period of shaky Flyers’ play.
From that point forward play in the period was fairly even, but the Flyers looked to be tiring. There were missed passes, icings and bad zone exits. They relinquished the lead on a lazy line change that left a Penguin unmarked in the low slot.
PHI D Robert Hagg CF:12 CA:4 CF% 75.00%
Hagg was the Flyers best CF% player. He is generally regarded as a notoriously bad play driver so it is hard to make what this performance means. He was not bad by ay means, but he was not dominant either. He was partnered with Gostisbehere and Ghost was noticeable in a good way, scoring and adding a few solid body checks to his effort. Perhaps their complementary skills gelled on this occasion, maybe there will be more of this pairing in the future.
After a great last game, Giroux struggled in this one. He did look tired in the third, with his skating and his facial expressions. Center minutes and PK minutes are draining and Giroux has seen a lot of both lately. After a bout of COVID maybe he is hitting a wall. Hopefully he can rest up before next game, perhaps shifting back to the wing.
Provorov struggled as well. He did not really get beaten badly, but he seemed to have more trouble than usual exiting the zone. Perhaps it was the new pairing with Braun, or maybe it was just a bad day. He will have a chance to get back to his normal level of excellence when they take on Washington Sunday night.
CF:23 CA:29 CF% 39.47% ZENO: 15
While the corsi numbers would indicate that the Flyers played poorly, it’s hard to reconcile the data with the context. The Penguins scored 2 PP goals. They scored a goal that was a clear Elliott mistake. They scored on an even strength goal that was the result of a sloppy Nolan Patrick line change.
The Flyers did not play great, but still played well enough to win the game and were let down by special teams and a really bad goal.
This loss was more about the Pens’ being more opportunistic than the Flyers being outplayed. The Penguins certainly deserved the win, but the Flyers must feel that they were victims of poor special teams play and a bad goal. Hopefully the team can shake any bad juju before their tilt at home against the Caps with fans in the arena.