Flyers Woes Continue After 4-1 Loss to Pittsburgh
The Philadelphia Flyers offered up what has been status quo this season by scoring just one goal in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday evening.
For the Flyers, breakdowns were the name of the game. Three of Pittsburgh's four goals, empty-netter notwithstanding, resulted directly from bad breakdowns.
After a scoreless first period, the Penguins opened the floodgates first.
Michael Raffl and Kimmo Timonen could not clear the zone, leading to a turnover. A quick snap feed from Evgeni Malkin found blazing hot Jussi Jokinen who sniped home his fourth of the season to make it 1-0.
Three minutes later, on what seemed like a power play opportunity, repeated point shots cashed in. Chris Kunitz picked up a fat rebound in the slot to make it 2-0.
"Our first two periods weren't great," Flyers starter Steve Mason said. "Our second in particular wasn't a great period of hockey."
"We're not going to win games playing like that."
The final nail in the coffin came after the Flyers pushed back hard. A boneheaded pass up the middle landed right on the stick of Pascal Dupuis who fed much-maligned Sidney Crosby who tapped the puck into a vacant net to seal it away.
"Well, we've got to play for 60 [minutes]," forward Max Talbot said.
"I think if we play 60 minutes, we'll start winning games," Giroux echoed.
Wayne Simmonds scored his first goal of the season with just two seconds remaining in the second period. Claude Giroux set him up after glancing up at how much time remained in the period. Simmonds applied the deflection to make a 2-0 game 2-1 heading into the second.
This power play goal was the first since Brayden Schenn's marker on opening night.
After several swings and misses, including a blatant miss by Schenn with a wide open net in a critical moment, cost the Flyers a chance to win this game.
One goal upped the season total to 11 goals—a paltry 1.37 goals per game. According to Philadelphia Daily News beat writer Frank Seravalli, this team is the first since 1964's edition of the Boston Bruins who have been unable to score more than two goals in a game through eight contests.
Mason once again came to play, making several key stops. He ended tonight making 31 saves on 34 shots.
"[Steve] Mason has been sharp this season," Talbot added. "He gives us a chance to win every night."
"If you take away empty net goals, I mean, 90% of the games are one goal games so he has been keeping us in the game every night and he has been outstanding."
As it stands, Mason holds a .923 save percentage, and a 2.37 goals against average. Those numbers are now very close to his career-highs set in his rookie season back in 2008.
Now, with this loss, and being at the NHL's basement, there is now a lot of time between now and the Flyers' next game against the New York Rangers next Thursday.
"We have a lot of time to look at tape and look at what we did wrong," Giroux said. "And if we play 60 minutes responsible and disciplined, we'll be fine and start winning games."