The Flyers returned home after a huge win over the Tampa Bay Lightning a couple of days ago and there is no better way to start off the new year and a four-game homestand than to face their biggest rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins had lost two straight games before tonight’s matchup and had lost seven of their last 10.
Coach Dave Hakstol didn’t change his team from the big win against the Lightning and that means that Brian Elliott got the start in goal for the 14th consecutive game for the Orange and Black.
The first period was a very close affair. Both teams created some scoring chances, but both goalies were great. The Flyers managed to shut down the Penguins’ stars pretty effectively in the first 20 minutes and that was a big reason why the period ended scoreless.
The Flyers (as they often do) selected to try the pass on a couple of odd-man rushes, but it didn’t work.
The second period would be a whole lot different from the first.
Phil Kessel scored the first goal of the game on a beautiful passing play by the Penguins power play.
Just a minute later, the Flyers would tie it all up again on a Jordan Weal tip from the high slot.
Beautiful re-direction from Jordan Weal ties the game! pic.twitter.com/D6IZzEUvmx
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) January 3, 2018
The Penguins would score another three goals in the second period in just under four minutes to give them to a 4-1 lead.
The Flyers had a couple of chances to score after that, including a Raffl breakaway, but they couldn’t capitalize.
The Penguins headed into the third with a 4-1 lead.
The Flyers needed a big third period effort to get get a comeback win, but they never really got close.
Hakstol decided to start Neuvirth in the third period after Elliott had let in four goals in the first 40 minutes.
The Flyers didn’t manage to create a single scoring chance in the first 12 minutes of the period and the Penguins added another power-play goal. After that, the Penguins could easily secure their victory.
Not a very pretty performance by the Flyers tonight.
Stars of the game
Ryan Reeves– The big Penguins forward scored a goal and added an assist and was a big reason why they won the game tonight.
Tom Kuhnhackel – Kuhnhackel also scored a goal and one assist and was just like Reeves — one of the better players of the night. The fourth line of the Penguins really came up big tonight.
Jamie Oleksiak – Scored his first goal as a Penguin and beat the hell out of Brandon Manning. A very solid game by the big defenseman.
The Flyers play the New York Islanders next on Thursday at 7:00PM ET.