Pens Drop Flyers in Black Friday Battle, Losing Streak Extends to Nine Games

The Flyers were carved up like Thanksgiving leftovers by the visiting Penguins. They were outshot most of the game and lost the faceoff battle 29 to 17. Ultimately, they would lose to Pittsburgh, 4-1, extending their losing streak to nine games.

Philly started off pretty hot, getting five shots off in the first five minutes. That kind of pressure is needed, considering how the Flyers can’t seem to find the back of the net right now. Zack MacEwen almost had a goal halfway into the first period, going coast to coast, but Tristan Jarry was able to slide over and prevent the would be goal. Unfortunately, for the Flyers, that would be the last shot they had during the period.

The Penguins, however, would strike first. Justin Braun couldn’t handle the draw. Teddy Blueger was able to recover the puck, skated around Braun, shuffled the pass to Josh Archibald, who flipped it past Hart for his fourth of the year.

Pittsburgh would score again just before the first period ended. Sidney Crosby, deflected a pass from Marcus Pettersson with 30.5 seconds left in the first frame. There was nothing Carter Hart could’ve done to stop it. With this goal, his 11th of the season, Crosby passed Mario Lemieux on Pittsburgh’s all-time leader in goals against the Flyers with 52. And you wonder why Flyers’ fans boo him!

About the only fireworks you saw, early on, from the Flyers was Nic Deslauriers knocking Kris Letang down to the ice on a big hit and then beating the tar out of Pettersson in a fight two minutes into the second period. It was Deslauriers’s league leading fifth fight of the season.

Although, about a minute later, Ryan Poehling would make it 3-0 Pens. Pierre-Olivier Joseph poked the puck away from MacEwen. The turnover started a Penguins attack that found a one time shot from Blueger. Blueger’s shot was redirected by Poehling in front of the net to where Hart couldn’t stop it. Poehling would score again with 6:23 left in the second. His second of the game came when he shot a puck from behind the net that ricocheted off the heel of Hart’s stick into the net. After this goal, Felix Sandstrom would replace Hart. Hart would stop 17 of the 21 shots he faced.

Kevin Hayes finally put the Flyers on the board halfway into the third period. Hayes took the puck, faked a pass to Patrick Brown, whom Jarry was shadowing. Hayes was able to flick the puck past Jarry for his sixth goal of the year. Deslauriers and Travis Sanheim were credited with the assists.

The Flyers did lose this game. However, if you watched it, you saw what John Tortorella has been saying all along. They outshot Pittsburgh 15-5 in the third. Instead of sticking their heads in the sand or putting their tail between their legs, they fought on. From the looks of it, the Penguins were tired and drained and the Flyers kept coming after them even after the odds of winning this game were far more than stacked against them. At some point, this effort will pan out for them.

Next up are a pair of games against the New York Islanders. Hopefully the losing streak doesn’t get into double digits.