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What The?! Penguins Blow Big Lead, Flyers Comeback Win, 4-3

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Pittsburgh Penguins Philadelphia Flyers

The Pittsburgh Penguins game began with a bang. The team exploded for three goals in the first four minutes of the game but slowly let the Philadelphia Flyers back in the game until the orange and black tied the game with six minutes remaining. Claude Giroux completed the Philadelphia comeback with two minutes remaining, and the Flyers won 4-3 Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena.

Philadelphia now leads the fifth place Penguins by two points and has two games in hand for fourth place.

“We’ve got to move by it, learn from it and have a short memory,” Sidney Crosy said. “But we definitely can’t allow games like this to happen.”

Before the game, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and assistant coach Todd Reirden were cleared from the NHL COVID protocol, and Crosby factored quickly.

Things looked very good for the Penguins. Very, very good.

In the first period, those three Penguins goals were scored within 1:11 with two odd-man breaks and resulted in three shaken-up players. Nearly three minutes into the game, Kasperi Kapanen took a hard hit to make a play to the point. Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliott misplayed Kris Letang’s (5) long shot. 1-0.

Kapanen stayed down on the ice for 30 seconds or more. He eventually skated off and stayed in the game.

Just 34 seconds later, Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman, a Flyer just last week, scored his first NHL goal. The goal resulted from a two-on-one with Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust. Elliott made a glove save, but the puck trickled into the air. Friedman (1) intercepted a failed clearing attempt and one-timed it beneath Elliott. 2-0.

While originally unassisted, official scorers later added assists to Crosby and Guentzel.

And 37 seconds later, Jared McCann finished a three-on-two. Evgeni Malkin to Kapanen, who slipped a pass behind the defense. McCann (4) deflected it top-shelf, and the Penguins had a 3-0 lead.

Shortly after the Penguins’ third goal, Friedman was boarded by Nolan Patrick. It was a scary hit. In the second period, Friedman attempted to take revenge, but Patrick saw it coming and reversed the hit. Friedman was nearly knocked out and had to be helped off the ice. He did not return.

The Penguins played with five defensemen for most of the game.

Philadelphia got one of the three back via a power play. After Rust’s interference penalty, Sean Couturier (6) blasted a top corner shot from the LW circle.

The Pittsburgh Penguins got sloppy after getting the lead, and let Philadelphia inch closer early in the seconds period. After a couple of turnovers and failed clears, the Penguins left both Oscar Lindblom and Claude Giroux alone at the net. Giroux (2) finished the sequence with a chip.

Suddenly that Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 lead was a fond memory, and Tristan Jarry was the thin line holding the Penguins lead.

“We just didn’t play the game hard enough or smart enough,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “When you get up early in games, you’ve got to continue to play hard and do the things that brought you success. I don’t think we did that as a group.”

Anthony Angello hit Flyers defenseman Philip Myers late in the second period. A moment after Myers released a wrist shot, the 6-foot-5 Angello made solid contact and Myers did not play in the third period.

The teams traded shots and a few scoring chances in the third until Jarry and defenseman Mike Matheson didn’t connect behind the net. Scott Laughton snapped the loose puck to Giroux in the slot, then went to the net. Giroux’s shot hit Laughton and trickled past Jarry.

Tie game.

“We came out of the gate pretty aggressive, got rewarded,” Kris Letang said. “But we let our foot off the gas the rest of the game thinking we could get away with it.”

Giroux (3) netted the winner on an easy tip-in and the 2800 Penguins fans went home unhappy.

Jarry stopped 31 of 35 shots. It was the first time in his last nine games he allowed more than three goals. Elliott stopped

Before the game, Flyers winger Joel Farabee was added to the NHL COVID protocol.

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Katz
Katz
4 months ago

Sullivan when will you finally stop trying not to offend and break up Malkin from the 1sf PP?

Angelo looks good to me. Jarry deserved better. 2nd time I recall Pittsburgh has blown a 3-0 lead to Philly. I keep saying it because it’s true. Malkin is a $9.5 million lead weight.

Last edited 4 months ago by Katz
Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
4 months ago
Reply to  Katz

Apparantly it is gratitude for years past because Malkin has been a bum all year. He doesn’t deserve gratitude he got 9.5 million for his services

David Heyl
David Heyl
4 months ago

Oh well the feel good of Tuesday was again just a tease ! This is what this team is all about no heart to bury an opponent & never put two good games together.

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
4 months ago
Reply to  David Heyl

You are correct David. I believe the coach is a big part of the problem. Malkin sucks and Letang is a big liability on Defence!

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

This coach is Dan Bylsma 2.0.He came in and won the cup with the structure the previous coach instilled,the team won the second cup with Goaltending and Crosby.Much like Bylsma the more he gets entreched the more he won’t adjust.His system won’t win and he can’t accept it.He forced out the Ian Cole’s of the world and refused to play Reeves,He should be gone not GMJR but his bloated contract is why he still gets to mis-coach this team.

Eric
Eric
4 months ago
Reply to  Big B

You’re funny! Comparing sully to Dan bylsma or even Mike Johnston is hilarious! His system can’t win? Really? Back to back cups isn’t winning? Both cups wins with a different scheme in place for that specific team? You do make a valid point about him maybe being to “ entrenched” at times. You can’t coach will and desire.

Eric
Eric
4 months ago
Reply to  Big B

Btw, in 19 games Ryan reaves has recorded 1 assist, and is playing under 10 minutes per game. Pretty valuable right? While St. Louis has a pretty good reliable 3rd line center in Sunquist.

Eric
Eric
4 months ago

Can you explain to me how sully is a big part of the problem? You probably can make make the argument the players are not responding to his message as they once did, but how else? Scheme? He can’t make players chase down pucks faster. He can’t stop making letang and Malkin give the puck away that directly lead to high danger goal scoring chances. He can’t stop the injuries.

Jason Kerstetter
Jason Kerstetter
4 months ago

Geno needs to be benched! Hes a turnover machine and phones it in on D…when will sully grow a spine and don”whats best for the team” like he claims with all other players

Michael Hanczar
Michael Hanczar
4 months ago

As soon as they got the 3 to 0 lead, stupid play in the neutral zone–passes picked off right and left. This lead was shaky already–only a 4th goal was going to save them tonight.

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
4 months ago

The Pens and HCMS and the 9.5 million dollar lead foot sure blew this one. Now Saturday in my opinion is our season. If we don’t win well this no heart team won’t make the playoffs Letang hasn’t played defense in years. Malkin has lead feet. Hexy and Burkie please trade to bring this team some heart!

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

The Malkin line blew the game.They were on the ice for all three even strenght goals.Why would Sullivan put him out for the late face off in the D-Zone when he is the worst face off man on the team, maybe in the league.The coach should go as once again he has no plan to counter the other teams surge.If he has a plan he should be fired because the players ignore it.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

My oh my Jake looks slow.Crosby deserved 5 points tonight.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

If you think Hexy won’t trade Jake your mistaken.If Malkin is given an extension say hello to 10 years of a rebuild.

Jack
Jack
4 months ago

I don’t know how many times and how many people can say it but 58 hast to go. He has more turnovers than the bakery at giant eagle. Maybe he needs drug tested. Whatever the cause he’s a liability on the ice needless to say on the power-play.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

He shoild not be on the ice with the goalie PULLED because he always misplays the puck at the line.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

I am honestly sick to my stomach.Torts was right when he said the Pens are the most arogant team in the league.They thought they could not lose with the lead.I can feel the days of Dick Tarnstrom are soon to be upon us if the Gm does not see the troubles that Malkin has brought.For his entire career he has been playing the same way he is now but had the offence to cover it up.The next time he stops on the puck at the net for his team or at the others teams net will be his first time.He… Read more »

Dave Davies
Dave Davies
4 months ago

Sullivan needs to go. I wasn’t really on board with it until tonight. This loss is completely inexcusable and points to the coach no longer being able to motivate the team. Let the new front office bring in a guy that they can get behind and that has the team playing like they actually care. Gerrard Gallant is currently unemployed and would have this team believing in each other again. He took an expansion franchise to the Stanley Cup Finals in one season getting a lot of previously average players to play at an elite level.

Edgar
Edgar
4 months ago

The dreaded 3 goal lead. Harkens back to an unfortunate playoff series all those years ago.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

I am also sick of hearing he should be given Jake and Rust to wake him out his funk.Yes lets punish Crosby for Hard work and reward Malkins’s laziness.Crosby is plus 2 and Makin is Minus 8, that is a 10 goal swing on the same team.Sweet Lord if Malkin was plus two this team would be in first place.I also would like to punch the next person who tells me Sam Laugherty is playing good.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago

I have been a fan fan of this team since i was 15 and that was 37 years ago.In all that time i have never been as discouraged as i was tonight and this season in General.Not even in the days of Dick Tarnstrom or Morozov.I would say this is what it must have felt like in the days of Roberto Romano but at least the hope of Mario was available back then.

D1VE
D1VE
4 months ago

Let’s look at the facts for those of you clamoring for a Malkin trade: he has a full NTC, so he’s not going anywhere if he doesn’t want to. Beyond that, who becomes 2C? It’s not Teddy Blueger. Most of you wanted to jettison Jared McCann the same as Malkin, so clearly that’s not gonna work. That leaves Jankowski as your only natural C left that isn’t a call up. No, Guentzel isn’t going to slot in either.

Most call for a trade without any thought as to how to fill the void Geno would leave behind.

Jason Kerstetter
Jason Kerstetter
4 months ago
Reply to  D1VE

What void? Hes not scoring, hes not assisting his teammates to score, cant seem to complete a pass OR get a shot on net…I’m sorry but geno has checked out. Hes constantly standing around watching plays be made after he gives the puck away

D1VE
D1VE
4 months ago

14 points (4g 10a) in 22 games states otherwise. It’s not typical Malkin numbers, but it’s not nothing.

Do I think he needs to shoot more? Yes. They all need to shoot more and pass less. It’s been a well-documented issue of this team for years now.

But if you don’t believe there’d be a void from losing a first ballot HOF player on a team that is already extraordinarily thin at center depth, then I invite you to explain how the Penguins move forward at center without Malkin in it’s current form.

crazyhorse87
crazyhorse87
4 months ago

The PP was quite discouraging to watch, the second unit seems to be out of sync a lot of the time. Maybe it’s time to split Crosby & Malkin, since the results are extremely low as is. I would figure it would be harder for the opposition to match two different forces, there has to be a way to improve the PP. Had they have gotten one of the PPG’s, maybe the results would’ve deflated the Flyers. Makes you wonder if Friedman is more important than we think, I hope he can play the next game.

Katz
Katz
4 months ago

A few thoughts; 1) Sullivan’s reluctance to split away Malkin from the 1st PP says alot about the culture of not ruffling stars feathers . It was time to break him off after the Islanders sweep 2 years ago. The PP should have won you this game. Instead it gave Philly momentum. That’s on Sullivan. 2) Angelo showed he can play a larger role. He hit effectively actually hurt Myers with a clean open ice body check. I move him up to 3rd line. 3) ZAR has really reverted to mean. He does not use his body as is necessary… Read more »

David
David
4 months ago

“We just didn’t play the game hard enough or smart enough,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “When you get up early in games, you’ve got to continue to play hard and do the things that brought you success. I don’t think we did that as a group.” This has been the story all year. “As a group,” boils down to individual names. It is one thing to put in a full effort and lose. It is another to not play hard enough. Maybe it’s time to make some moves. Either way, this team will likely miss the playoffs. No way… Read more »

David
David
4 months ago

I don’t think Sullivan is the problem. The problem starts with Geno — I would healthy scratch him — it would send a BIG message.

David
David
4 months ago

They blew a 3-0 lead. But worst of all, with 2 minutes left they could not even get the game to overtime.

Big B
Big B
4 months ago
Reply to  David

With two minutes left the coach sent out Malkin for a D-Zone draw.He sucks on the draw and any other line get this to O.T.

Peter Hoffman
Peter Hoffman
4 months ago

2 PP, 1 SOG. Pathetic!!

Chase Ranson
Chase Ranson
4 months ago

Sullivan is coaching like he is got the division locked up last night was a preview of what would happen if they got lucky to be a seed in the playoffs they would get swept

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