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Tough-To-Watch Flyers Lose 9th in a Row After Falling to Penguins 4-1 in Thanksgiving Showdown

The losing streak continues for the Philadelphia Flyers after falling to their cross-state rivals in the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 4-1.

The loss represented their 9th in a row and their 12th in the last 14 games as the wheels have completely fallen off for the organization with the injuries mounting by the day.

Carter Hart was pulled midway through the second period after allowing his 4th goal on 21 shots, Felix Sandstrom made 8 saves the rest of the way, Kevin Hayes scored his 6th goal of the season and now leads the team in points with 20, and Nicolas Deslauriers notched his 6th fighting major of the season. Zack MacEwen might’ve been the best player of the night with his 4 shot effort, 4 hits, 1 block, and a penalty shot attempt.

The fighting resolve took a hit in the second period as the Flyers looked dead in their tracks but came out with a spirited effort in the third period. It was all for nought however as the Penguins had this game in the bag by the end of the first period. Tristan Jarry made 29 saves, Ryan Poehling recorded 2 goals, Teddy Blueger had 3 assists, and Josh Archibald had a goal and an assist to complete the fourth line heroics for the Penguins who have now won 5 in a row.

Black Friday might be an apt way to describe this game as the Philadelphia Flyers entered tonight’s tilt on an 8 game losing streak and having lost 11 of their last 13. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Penguins entered this game on a 4-game winning streak and most importantly they were completely healthy, which is something they haven’t been in a long time. The severely depleted Flyers juggled their lines again as Noah Cates, Kevin Hayes, and Owen Tippett represented the first line, Morgan Frost was in between Kieffer Bellows and Zack MacEwen, Nicolas Deslauriers was with Tanner Laczynski and Joel Farabee, and to round it all up was the trio of Jackson Cates, Lukas Sedlak and Patrick Brown.


As expected, the Flyers came out hard and fired 3 shots on goal in the first 30 seconds after Kevin Hayes’ one-timer was stopped, Ivan Provorov’s point shot was taken care of, and Noah Cates’ rebound opportunity was handled. The Flyers strong start continued as they held a 6-3 shot advantage heading into the first commercial, the newly formed top line was extremely noticeable, and even though Sidney Crosby’s line was humming in the offensive zone, they were kept to the outside and a lot of their chances missed the net or were blocked aside by the Flyers’ defensemen.

However, right out of the commercial break, Crosby and the Penguins created an extremely dangerous opportunity as Jake Guentzel had the puck centered to him in the slot that was taken care of by the glove of Carter Hart – that was the beginning of the Penguins offensive onslaught in the first period.

The Penguins were picking up their pace as they were cruising around the offensive zone and firing shots at will that Hart did a good job at fending off. The Flyers started the game with the first 5 shots and in the first 2-3 minutes, but then went almost 9 minutes without until Zack MacEwen went end-to-end and weaved himself through the defense of the Penguins before being stopped by the toe-end of the pad of Tristan Jarry.

Turnovers have killed the Flyers during this losing skid and coming out of the second commercial break, the Flyers’ Justin Braun fumbled a pass off the faceoff win that led to an odd-man rush with Teddy Bleuger and Josh Archibald. The puck was bouncing on Braun who tried passing it to Nick Seeler but instead turned it over to Blueger, whose initial shot was stopped by Hart, but the rebound was taken care of by Archibald for his 4th goal of the season.

The Flyers don’t win faceoffs anymore and it’s even more ironic that they allowed a goal after winning a face-off.

With 5:48 remaining in the first period, Kevin Hayes drew a tripping penalty against Danton Heinen as the 29th-ranked power play of the Flyers went head to head with the 13th-best penalty killing unit in the NHL for the first time in the game. The Penguins had killed 31 of their last 35 penalties since the calendar flipped to November, which was number one in the NHL in that time span, while the Flyers entered this game going 2 for their last 29. The power play lasted 1:18 until Ivan Provorov was called for a interference minor as Joel Farabee tried weaving his way into the offensive zone. It wasn’t much of a collision as Archibald fell rather easily. It was an abbreviated power play for the Penguins but they set up quickly and fired 3 shots on goal created by dynamic trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang.

With 30 seconds left in the first period, Crosby deflected a slap-shot pass from Marcus Pettersson that Carter Hart had no chance in stopping. The goal represented Crosby’s 11th of the season, 52nd career goal against the Flyers, and his 4th goal and 11th point in his last 4 games and 1 period.

The period ended with the Penguins up 2-0, leading on the shot clock 15-7, and had won 63.2% of the face-offs. The Flyers strong start could not be sustained in the slightest as they finished the last 16-17 minutes with 2 shots to the Penguins 15.


After such a dominating first 20 minutes, it only took the Penguins 30 seconds to get the ball rolling as Jake Guentzel had seemingly scored the third goal of the game that was quickly waived off for a blatant high stick.

After a bone-crushing body check delivered by Nicolas Deslauriers on Kris Letang, Marcus Pettersson had a few words for Deslauriers. He dropped one glove asking him if he wanted to drop the gloves and Pettersson obliged even though it was going to be a lopsided tilt.

Deslauriers had a smile the entire time, the Penguins bench were yelling at the referees to end the fight, and Deslauriers’ 6th fight of the season might’ve been his best – in terms of punches landed.

The fourth line of the Penguins struck again as Ryan Poehling, Teddy Blueger, and Josh Archibald made quick work of the momentum post-fight – 46 seconds. It was a simple play as Blueger’s point shot was deflected by Poehling at the front of the net as Ivan Provorov did not do a good job defending the play. Instead of taking the body or even attempting to block the shot, he tried hacking at the stick instead and Hart really had no chance at making that save.

To make matters worse, at the 5 minute mark of the period, Tony DeAngelo hobbled off the ice and headed straight to the locker room after blocking a shot on the outside of his right ankle – fortunately he returned a few minutes later.

With 13:35 remaining in the second period, Nick Seeler dropped the gloves with Brock McGinn with the former taking down the latter comprehensibly, unfortunately it was a reactionary fight and Seeler was called for the extra minor penalty, handing the Penguins a power play with his team down 3 goals. For whatever reason the referees didn’t call it a fight, so Seeler was called for a double minor for roughing penalty to McGinn’s single roughing minor.

The Flyers killed the penalty but were hemmed in their zone for quite awhile with the Penguins’ top power play unit having their way with their umbrella formation. The Flyers had their best scoring chance right in awhile after the kill as Zack MacEwen was hacking away in the bluepaint, testing the so-far-untested Jarry.

With 6:23 left in the period, the fourth line for the Penguins struck for the third time in the game on a very unfortunately weak goal as Ryan Poehling snuck the puck in from the behind the net off the stick blade of Carter Hart and through the five-hole. It was Poehling’s second goal of the game, fourth goal of the season, and John Tortorella pulled Hart for Felix Sandstrom after the goal.

Hart was bombarded all game, it was not a good goal to give up however, but in saying that the Flyers looked dead in the water, sleepy, dreary, and everything in between. Sandstrom’s first test came within the first minute as Evgeni Malkin was robbed in the blue paint by the pad.

The Penguins’ top line hemmed the Flyers in their own zone for nearly 2 minutes as they cycled well, had the Flyers flat-footed, and were making play after play with relative ease. Sanheim and Braun had been on the ice for over 2 minutes and with frustration seeping in Sanheim took a few hacks at Malkin as they were battling along the boards – each were given coincidental roughing minors. The period ended with the Penguins up 4-0, Poehling scoring twice in the period, shots being locked in at 9 apiece, with 20 minutes still having to be played out.


Playing for pride, the Flyers started the third period with a 7-1 shot advantage before Zack MacEwen found himself all alone on Jarry before being impeded by Marcus Pettersson. The referee awarded him the penalty shot for his efforts but unfortunately took a rather mundane shot instead of making a move and was padded aside by Jarry, keeping the shutout intact with 12:43 to go in regulation.

On his next shift, MacEwen came rumbling back into the offensive zone and had his hard shot stopped by Jarry, who had been peppered by 11 shots in the first 8 minutes of the third period after being barely tested in the first 40.

With 9:56 to go in regulation, Kevin Hayes broke the shutout as he chipped a shot over Jarry’s shoulder as he was hugging the post instead of playing the man. Nicolas Deslauriers set up Hayes with a hard pass that Hayes deflected forward, through Jeff Petry, and then deceived Jarry by making him think he was going to pass it to Patrick Brown.


The goal represented Hayes’ 6th of the season, it was also his 20th point of the year which put him atop of the Flyers leaderboard with Travis Konecny’s 19 still sidelined. Deslauriers notched his 4th assist of the season and Sanheim added the secondary assist for his 5th helper of the year.

On Deslauriers’ next shift, he was inches away from scoring his second goal of the season after being masterfully set up by Provorov but the shot was deflected wide. Then 45 seconds later, Owen Tippett smashed one off the post as the Flyers were pressing and the Penguins were clearly just trying to wind down the clock. With less than 7 minutes to go, the Flyers had a 29-27 shot advantage after being outshot 24-16 entering the period.

With 1:52 remaining, Brown was called for a high sticking minor, giving the fourth line of the Penguins a crack at their 4th goal of the game and maybe a hat-trick for Poehling. The Flyers lost this one 4-1, out-shot the Penguins 30-29 after a 15-5 third period “barrage”, and head out to face the New York Islanders tomorrow with a 10-game losing streak on the precipice.


The Flyers travel to UBS Arena to take on the New York Islanders in another divisional matchup tomorrow night.

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