Philadelphia Flyers: A disappointing result in Pittsburgh

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers played well enough on Friday to earn a point against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they still fell in overtime to their bitter rival.

When last we saw the Philadelphia Flyers ten days ago, they were thoroughly outplaying the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-0 victory.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, Pittsburgh remembered how to play hockey over the teams’ nine-day layoff. It wasn’t all for naught, however, as the Flyers still managed a point in the 4-3 overtime loss.

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They showed a lot of fight by coming back from a 3-1 deficit to tie things, and then they carried the play in the third period. This game could have easily been a 4-3 or 5-3 regulation win in the Flyers’ favor.

But, like we’ve seen all too often, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins found a way to win. Crosby himself provided the predictable winning goal in the first minute of overtime, his third point of the night. Evgeni Malkin also had three points. They were clear difference makers, while Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk were all held off the scoresheet for the Flyers.

Couturier in particular had an off-night, going -2 and committing a turnover in the overtime that ended up leading to the winning goal, with the Flyers never regaining possession after his giveaway.

Yes, the Flyers got nice contributions on the night from the likes of Tyler Pitlick and Scott Laughton, but this team isn’t going to make it if their top players don’t produce.

Pittsburgh’s three regulation goals came in a 7:08 span in the second period. Outside of that, the Flyers had the better of the play for most of the game. This sure seems like a point left on the table.

But the Flyers are forced to be happy with the lone point that they worked for as they turn it right around to face a rested Colorado Avalanche team in Philadelphia on Saturday night. Now that they have their sea legs back under them, the Flyers will need to take advantage of a potentially rusty opponent playing its first game after a long break.

The Flyers can’t let other teams off the hook, and their veteran leaders have to steer the ship from this point forward. Not to sound like a broken record (too late), but missing the playoffs this season would be inexcusable.

And while it’s hard to evaluate the Flyers’ Friday performance too critically since it came after such a long layoff, there were enough leaky elements about it to indicate that this team will need a full 60 minutes (or more) of effort every night.

Flyers: Out of the break and into the fire. dark. Next

That, plus maybe a little bit of luck, would go a long way towards making sure the Flyers come down on right side of the postseason cutoff. And there’s only 31 more chances to prove that they’re good enough.