The Pittsburgh Penguins have gotten more goals from their No. 1 goaltender than they have from their power play during the past 10 games.
That’s not the only reason they continue to bob along around .500 — they’re 11-10-2 after a 4-3 shootout loss to Philadelphia Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena — but it’s a pretty significant one.
They were 0-for-5 with the extra man against the Flyers, including a chance in the final minute of overtime, running their drought over the past 10 games to 0-for-26.
Even worse, the Flyers erased a 2-1 Penguins lead in the third period by scoring a shorthanded goal.
Philadelphia rubbed it in by holding Sidney Crosby without a point for the first time in his past 15 games against them. He and Mario Lemieux are tied for the all-time lead by a Flyers opponent with 124 each.
Flyers center Sean Couturier was the only player on either team to score in the shootout. Jake Guentzel, Crosby and Bryan Rust were the Penguins’ shooters.
The Penguins got an early opportunity with the extra man when Flyers center Morgan Frost was penalized for high-sticking Lars Eller at 1:34 of the opening period.
But even though the Penguins kept the puck in the Philadelphia zone for the first 90 seconds and generated a couple of good chances, they were unable to score.
Both teams seemed intent on playing a boring road game during the opening 20 minutes. (Of course, Philadelphia was the only one actually playing away from home.)
The Penguins were credited with three shots on Flyers goalie Samuel Ersson in the first period.
Precedent suggested the Penguins might have wanted to put a little more emphasis on seizing a 1-0 lead, since Philadelphia entered the game 0-9-2 when allowing the first goal.
Both teams had an opportunity with the extra man during the first half of the second period — Flyers defenseman Cam York went for interference at 2:42 and Penguins winger Radim Zohorna was called for roughing at 5:18 — but neither could capitalize.
No surprise there, given the Penguins’ season-long struggles with the man-advantage and that the Flyers began the evening with a league-worst mark of 1-for-28 on road power plays.
The Penguins had to kill a high-sticking minor assessed to Drew O’Connor at 9:55, and finally opened the scoring at 14:31.
Kris Letang threw a shot toward the Philadelphia net from the top of the left circle, and the puck caromed off the right skate of Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim before sailing over Ersson’s glove.
The goal, which was unassisted, was Letang’s second of the season.
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry preserved the lead by stopping Flyers winger Owen Tippett on a breakaway at 15:33, but Tippett needed little more than a minute to get even.
He got behind the Penguins’ defense again and flipped a backhander past Jarry at 16:47 to make it 1-1.
Bryan Rust picked up a roughing minor with 43.2 seconds to go before the intermission, but the Penguins were able to kill that penalty.
Jake Guentzel put the Penguins in front just 34 seconds after they got back to full strength, as he fought off Flyers defenseman Marc Staal at the left side of the crease and Erik Karlsson’s pass carom off his right skate and into the net.
Rust picked up the second assist on that goal, Guentzel’s eighth.
The Penguins had a chance — in theory, anyway — to pad their lead when Flyers winger Nicolas Deslauriers was penalized for boarding at 5:02, but it was the Flyers who scored while he was in the box.
Philadelphia center Scott Laughton got past a lunging Evgeni Malkin along the right-wing boards in the Penguins’ end, then cut to the net and threw a shot past Jarry one second before Deslaurier’s minor was to expire.
Staal tripped Marcus Pettersson at 11:03, but 67 seconds into that man-advantage, it was negated when Karlsson was penalized for interfering with Travis Konecny.
The Flyers went in front for the first time at 13:52 — 18 seconds before Karlsson’s penalty would have ended — as Tyson Foerster put a shot by Jarry high on the stick side from inside the left circle.
The Penguins forced overtime, though, when Guentzel backhanded in a shot from the left side of the crease with 20.6 seconds to go in regulation. Rust and Malkin got assists.
The Flyers were caught with too many men on the ice four minutes into the extra period.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to practice Sunday at noon at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex before traveling to Philadelphia for the back end of their home-and-home series with the Flyers Monday.