In what almost looked like a replay of their meeting from three weeks earlier, the Flyers looked outmatched against the surging Penguins, who continued their torrid stretch with a 6-2 win over the Flyers on Sunday night at Consol Energy Center.
The first period had the feel of the second period from a few weeks earlier in Philadelphia. It was all Penguins, as they peppered the Flyers net with 16 shots in the period.
It took 15:38 and a power play, but eventually, the Penguins found the net. Just seconds after drawing a penalty, Sidney Crosby was on the doorstep to put home a rebound off a Phil Kessel shot to give the Penguins the lead.
Just 1:05 later, Pittsburgh struck again. A Flyers rush into the zone was broken up quickly and a little bank pass by Justin Schultz made its way to Conor Sheary for a 2-on-1. Sheary caught the Flyers leaning to his side and put a pass to an uncovered Beau Bennett who one-timed it past Steve Mason to make it 2-0.
The Flyers started to get their legs and better chances in the second, but a turnover allowed the Penguins to build on the lead. Wayne Simmonds lost the puck along the boards to Patric Hornqvist, who cut to the slot. His first shot attempt was blocked by Andrew MacDonald, but went right back to his stick and he snapped a shot past Mason to make it a three-goal game.
With under a minute to play in the second, Simmonds made up for the turnover. Taking a pass from Claude Giroux on entering the zone, Simmonds ripped a shot high over the shoulder of Matt Murray to cut the lead to two.
The Flyers came out with some early pressure in the third, but the Penguins got on the board again at 4:14. Off a failed clear, a point shot by Letang was deflected by Nick Bonino and went right into the slot where a diving Carl Hagelin batted it in to make it 4-1.
But the game started to get even more out of hand than just on the scoreboard as the Penguins made it 5-2 midway through the period. The goal came from Eric Fehr off a 2-on-1 that was only created because Tom Kuhnhackl drilled MacDonald into the boards head-first. MacDonald left for the remainder of the game as the Penguins restored the three-goal lead.
Fehr added an empty-net goal in the final two minutes to cap the scoring.
This was the Flyers first loss by more than one goal since their last meeting with the Penguins on March 19. By virtue of the Boston Bruins loss this afternoon, the Flyers do still retain the final playoff spot.
The Flyers return to the ice on Wednesday night when they face the Detroit Red Wings. The opening faceoff is set for 8 p.m.
|PIT||Sidney Crosby (33) PP||Phil Kessel, Kris Letang||15:38|
|PIT||Beau Bennett (6)||Conor Sheary, Justin Schultz||16:43|
|PIT||Patric Hornqvist (21)||Unassisted||10:34|
|PHI||Wayne Simmonds (29)||Claude Giroux, Andrew MacDonald||19:18|
|PIT||Carl Hagelin (12)||Nick Bonino, Kris Letang||4:14|
|PHI||Jakub Voracek (11)||Shayne Gostisbehere, Sean Couturier||8:04|
|PIT||Eric Fehr (7)||Matt Cullen, Tom Kuhnhackl||9:43|
|PIT||Eric Fehr (8) SH-EN||Matt Cullen||18:21|
|PIT||Ian Cole||2:00 Interference||2:21|
|PHI||Wayne Simmonds||2:00 Hooking||15:03|
|PHI||Shayne Gostisbehere||2:00 Holding||13:18|
|PIT||Nick Bonino||2:00 Hooking||17:52|
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.