Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 19, Away Game 9 | Tuesday, March 2, 2021|
|PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA|
Flyers LineupForward lines
James van Riemsdyk – Sean Couturier – Joel Farabee
Claude Giroux – Kevin Hayes – Nolan Patrick
Oskar Lindblom – Scott Laughton – Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl – Connor Bunnaman – Travis KonecnyDefense pairings
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Justin Braun
Robert Hägg – Philippe MyersGoaltenders
Carter Hart – Brian ElliottScratches
Erik Gustafsson, Nicolas Aube-KubelInjuries
Morgan Frost (dislocated shoulder)
It’s been three games of winning for the Philadelphia Flyers, rebuilding their chemistry and structure as their core players began to return from COVID-19 protocol. The last one, Travis Konecny, came off the list over the weekend. He’s poised for a potential return to the lineup tonight.
With the team looking like things are starting to gel again, this week will be a big test. The Flyers travel to Pittsburgh for three games against the Penguins. It’ll be the first time the teams will meet since former Flyers GM Ron Hextall was hired to replace Jim Rutherford. The Penguins also added Chris Pryor in the front office and claimed defenseman Mark Friedman off waivers.
The biggest news ahead of this game was the announcement that Sidney Crosby would not play, after being placed on the league’s COVID-19 reserve list.
I’ll go on the record to say that I don’t agree with the decision to hold the game without knowing if the risk runs any deeper than Crosby. He could just be a “close contact” situation or, if he has tested positive, could be one of an unknown number. Is it worth the risk for a team who is just now getting healthy from their own bout with the virus? I digress.
To begin, the Flyers started the game with a couple of power play opportunities. First, Zach Aston-Reese tripped up Philippe Myers below the goal line, sending the defenseman awkwardly into the boards. Myers was slow to get up but seemed to be okay.
Then Philadelphia had a good flurry of activity around Tristan Jarry‘s net during the man advantage, but nothing found the back of the net. They got another chance moments later when Sean Couturier was on the receiving end of a high stick.
No one on the Flyers power play units was able to convert the opportunities into goals, but Shayne Gostisbehere in particular had a good showing, as did Oskar Lindblom.
However, once the teams returned to five-on-five play the shooting slowed down substantially for Philly. Although they were getting sticks in lanes and defensively slowing down the Penguins, the Flyers were also not getting much sustained offensive zone time either. Carter Hart looked solid, making more than a couple of key saves.
The period ended with Claude Giroux taking a hooking penalty, putting the Flyers shorthanded to begin the second.
Next, after killing off Giroux’s penalty, things started looking up for the Flyers when Joel Farabee completed a picture-perfect give and go sequence with Sean Couturier to put the Flyers up 1-0. The play was made possible by James van Riemsdyk‘s relentless net-front presence to draw the defenseman’s attention away from the play.
Then Pittsburgh got the goal right back just over a minute later when Gostisbehere turned the puck over in the offensive zone on an attempted cross-ice pass. Kaspari Kapanen intercepted it, and skated the puck up the ice on a breakaway to easily put it into Hart’s net.
It was as if that goal opened the door for Pittsburgh, who came on strong and tallied two more goals before the end of the period. The Flyers defense looked exceptionally soft in this frame, with the third goal against being scored by Bryan Rust as two Penguins players were allowed to set up shop on the doorstep undefended. The other goal was scored by Kapanen on the power play, his second of the night.
Farabee found the back of the net for a second time about midway through the third period when a bouncing puck rebounded a couple of times off of Jarry and the young winger had an active stick in close to put it across the goal line.
Just like earlier in the game, however, the Flyers immediately gave up another goal to Pittsburgh when Cody Ceci shoveled the puck under Hart’s pad as he stretched across to try to stop the odd-man rush coming his way. Former Flyers blueliner Friedman had the secondary assist.
The final goal was a bit sad, to be honest. In the entirety of this game, blame could not be placed on Hart’s shoulders, due to the abysmal performance of the Flyers defense. As Hart was making his way to the bench for the extra attacker, his team coughed up the puck and Mike Matheson shot it down the ice and into an empty net. Except that goal will unfortunately still count against Hart’s statistics since he wasn’t yet off the ice, disqualifying it as a true “empty net” goal.
What’s Next?The Flyers have just two days before they take the ice in enemy territory again for their second of three games in Pittsburgh this week. Without Crosby, the Pens were still able to put up five goals against Philadelphia and that just isn’t going to be sustainable through the week if the Flyers expect to get some points out of this road trip.
Plus / Minus
▲ Sean Couturier, Joel Farabee, Carter Hart
▼ Shayne Gostisbehere, Michael Raffl
|0 for 5||Power Play||1 for 3|
Stars of the Game
|NHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Alain Vigneault: “A couple plays on our side we needed to be better at and we weren’t. We need to regroup, refocus and get ready for the next one.”
Travis Konecny on COVID-19: “I did have symptoms. It’s no joke, it’s a serious virus. It hits some harder than others, I got it pretty good and it’s just a matter of time getting back into things.”
“It was a long quarantine for me. I spent a lot of time just texting and trying to FaceTime to stay in touch with guys.”
Quotes courtesy of Amy Johnson for Rocket Sports Media & the Philadelphia Flyers
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