PITTSBURGH — In the third period on their first power play of the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins power-play unit decided the game. Unfortunately, for the Penguins, it was the shorthanded goal that Philadelphia Flyers grinder Dale Weiss scored which was the difference.
Weiss flew the zone and defenseman Robert Hagg launched him on a 100-foot breakaway. Weiss (2) zipped it through Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith’s five-hole for a short-handed goal.
The first two minutes were certainly exciting.
On the first shift of the game, the Penguins put a marker on the scoreboard. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin neatly sprung Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on a two-on-one break. Guentzel dished to Crosby (14) who snapped it past Philadelphia goalie Anthony Stolarz on the first shot of the game.
About one minute later, the 6-foot-7 inch, 255 pound Oleksiak and the 6-foot 2, 175 pound Simmonds dropped the gloves. Oleksiak landed a few direct shots and Simmonds needed stitches before returning to serve the remainder of his five-minute fighting major.
In the first period, Philadelphia made a point of roughing up Patric Hornqvist, who returned to the lineup after missing two games due to a concussion. Philadelphia Scott Laughton was caught with a quick punch to the top of his head and defenseman Robert Hagg pinned Hornqvist to the ice with a couple of cross checks, too.
A miscommunication during a line change cost the Penguins, five minutes into the first period. Philadelphia defenseman Robert Hagg launched winger Travis Konecny on a 100-foot breakaway. Konency beat Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith low, to the stick side. 1-1.
The Penguins fourth line had consecutive strong shifts early in the second period. On the second go-round, left wing Riley Sheahan skated along the left wing. And kept skating. Uncovered, Sheahan cut to the net and easily beat Stolarz with a top-shelf wrister.
But the Penguins lost their bearings for much of the second period.
Their lead lasted only 63 seconds. After a couple shifts of struggles, the Penguins second line was burned. Evgeni Malkin chased Jakub Voracek and left Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux wide open in the left wing circle. Voracek’s cross-ice pass was on the tape and Giroux quickly buried it to tie the game.
It was the story of the night for the Penguins which struggled with sloppiness, including Penguins top defenseman Kris Letang who took back-to-back penalties midway through the third period. Phil Kessel’s first shot of the game came with just over two minutes remaining.
DeSmith was solid. He was beaten on a pair of breakaways and a wide-open one-timer. DeSmith stopped the shots he should have stopped. His record fell to 6-4-3.
Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz, 24, earned his third career win and first of the season.
Jakub Voracek added an empty-netter.