You think of the playoffs and you think about grittiness, fast-paced action, and in-your-face hockey. The Flyers had a chance to throw that at the Penguins tonight in front of a raucous Wells Fargo Center crowd.
They did just about everything they could to quiet the crowd.
The Flyers came out in this game as flat as could possibly be for this game. The Penguins came out early and threw everything they had at the Flyers early on. Brian Eliott stood tall for a lot of the onslaught by the Penguins, but Matt Read exacerbated the problem just 3 minutes in by taking a holding penalty.
The Penguins got set up and the rest was just about history. Sidney Crosby found Evgeni Malkin who was wide open on the far side of the ice, and he put it past Elliott to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 18, 2018
The Flyers actually came out after that goal and responded very well. That is something they had failed to do most of this season. Three shifts in a row were spent in the Penguins zone generating shots and getting some scoring chances.
That all came to a fast end when Scott Laughton threw an errant pass to the middle of the ice. Phil Kessel picked up the loose puck and fired a shot that Elliott should have stopped, but squeaked past anyway. That killed all the Flyer momentum and essentially threw the game into a tailspin.
Pittsburgh led in shots in the first period by an 11-10 margin.
If you thought the first period was bad, the second period might have very well been the Flyers worst period to date.
Tom Kuhnhackl took a hooking penalty just a few minutes into the period and the Flyers had a golden chance to get themselves back into the game. That power play resulted in very little for the Flyers as once again they failed to generate any sustained offense on the power play.
The tables would turn on them rather quickly as following that power play, Kris Letang fired a shot that went off of Andrew MacDonald’s stick and past Brian Elliott. That goal was Letang’s first of the playoffs and the last shot Brian Elliott would face in this game.
Michal Neuvirth came in relief of Elliott.
That didn’t help the Flyers, a little under 3 minutes later, Sidney Crosby found the back of the net for his 5th goal this series.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 19, 2018
The Flyers would get a bit of daylight towards the end of the period. Travis Konecny was hi-sticked by Evgeni Malkin which gave the Flyers a 4-minute power play to end the period. They would generate some shots but ultimately didn’t get many good chances. That power play would just about end with the period.
The Flyers were outshot 11-7 in the second period.
The Flyers power play would officially come to an end a few seconds into the third period.
Riley Sheahan would split the defense and add another goal to put the Penguins up 5-0 for good measure.
The Flyers would outshoot the Penguins 9-8 in the final period.
This is now the 4th time in 10 playoff games the Flyers have been shutout under Hakstol, and they have been outscored 32-3 in playoff loses under Hakstol.
Game 5: Friday @ 7pm.