After winning 8 of their last 10 games, the Philadelphia Flyers fall flat in Saturday’s matinée contest with the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. A real lackadaisical effort with the puck from Philadelphia in this one as the Pittsburgh’s dominant second period effort powered them past the Flyers. Giving credit where credit is due, the Penguins attacked the Flyers mercilessly when they had the puck with shrewd checking and good positioning this afternoon. Overall, the Flyers hadn’t really turned in a clunker for well over a month of play so while no one enjoys getting beat by one of your rivals on home ice, it’s probably best the team suffered this setback now and not during the last month of the season. Let it be a lesson learned.The Flyers received one goal from defensemen Radko Gudas (4th) in the loss. After getting on the board first, the Flyers really started to become careless with the puck and that cost them dearly today. The Penguins speed helped create those turnovers and the work they did on the penalty kill was strong. The Flyers obviously didn’t help matters as they couldn’t cleanly handle a puck all afternoon and were frequently dumping pucks into the Penguins zone because they couldn’t find any room in the neutral zone. At the end of the day though, my hat is off to Penguins for a very solid, two-way game they played today. They most certainly deserved to win.
Losing goaltender Steve Mason had a strong effort as he turned away 31 of 34 shots fired his way. Mason wasn’t even scheduled to play today but according to the teams’ beat writers, Neuvirth either felt under the weather or was injured and could not play; Neuvy is set to be reevaluated by the team tomorrow. Mason allegedly was given 20 minutes notice that he was now the starter and despite the news possibly putting the goaltender in a disadvantageous situation, he responded well and gave his team a chance to win.
Here is today’s game notable:
The Flyers set a season low for shots on goal with 17 shots this afternoon. Once again, it was the Penguins that found ways to get into shooting lanes and block shots with active sticks. Philadelphia also managed to miss the net over 10 times for the game. This obviously made things difficult in way of creating scoring opportunities for the game.