The Penguins failed to defeat the Flyers on CONSOL Energy Center ice for the third time this season, Tuesday night.
Coming off of four straight shootout victories, the Pens came out flying against the Flyers. In the first period they were rewarded with a two-on-one featuring Alex Kovalev and James Neal. Kovalev sent a wrister cruising past Sergei Bobrovsky low stick side, to take the lead with 7:38 left in the first. Kovalev’s first goal in Pittsburgh, as a Penguin since February 4, 2003.
A few minutes later the Flyers answered back with a weird deflection goal by Jeff Carter. The deflected shot hit the far post, bounced off of Fleury, then in to the net.
The Pens were the better team in the first period, they carried the play, and they were hitting everything that moved. Tyler Kennedy was everywhere, and you could just feel he was going to score. Letestu was back, and although he wasn’t sharp, he was winning some much needed faceoffs.
During the second period, Tyler Kennedy came flying in to the zone and let go a wrist shot as he fell to the ice. Bobrovsky let it go under his pad as he went in to the butterfly. Soft Goal, but it would be the rookie’s last mistake of the night. From that moment on, Bobrovsky was everywhere, you could just feel that it was shutdown city for the rest of the night. As for Fleury, the rest of the night wouldn’t be as smooth as the beginning, where he has a couple big time saves. First, Hartnell took some time off from being a goon, and took the puck hard to the net. His attempt to jam the puck past Fleury was deflected towards the top corner by Pens defenseman Zbynek Michalek. A little later in the second Giroux scored a beautiful goal, after Letestu failed to handle a pass by Kovalev.
The odd goals by the Flyers would continue after Leino would have the final two goals of the game. Both goals were strange bounces that went the Flyers way, a sort of motif of the evening.
The Pens got themselves in penalty trouble, and the Flyers found their way back in the game. Many fans are blaming the refs for this loss, but in my opinion, blaming the refs for a loss is like blaming your car for running into a tree. The fact is the Pens take way too many penalties. They may have the number one penalty kill in the league, but just think how good it would be if they had to kill fewer penalties. The powerplay is abysmal, and it is no secret. Crosby coming back will help, but he won’t miraculously make it a top unit. Letang struggles to hit the net on a regular basis, and he is supposed to be the one timer threat.
On a positive note, how good has Marc-Andre Fleury been since November? Without his sensational netminding, where would the Pens be? Three letters come to mind: MVP
Follow me on twitter @PSBDustin
About the Author
Written by Dustin Keener
My name is Dustin Keener. Born and raised a Pittsburgh sports fan. I Live in Northern Virginia, and went to college in the Pittsburgh area. I am very involved in the hockey community. I referee, play, coach, and read/write everything I can about the game. I am 24, engaged, and loving life.