Pittsburgh Penguins Dropped by Flyers 4-1 for Third Straight Loss


After getting stomped by the Philadelphia Flyers just a few days ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins headed into today’s Easter showdown looking for redemption.

Sadly, that redemption was not to be.

The Pens were stopped by the unbelievable play of Steve Mason – who turned aside 46 of Pittsburgh’s 47 shots – while lacklustre play from Pittsburgh in both ends of the rink earned them the 7th loss in their last 10 games.

Centre Brandon Sutter emerged as a lone bright spot for Pittsburgh in the early goings, netting a powerplay goal in the first period to give his team the lead.

The tally was Sutter’s 19th of the season (and his 31st point overall) and continues a solid 2014-15 campaign which has seen him post his best offensive numbers as a Penguin.

Not much could be said of the rest of the team, however.

Despite the Pens’ offense looking much more dangerous with Evgeni Malkin back in the lineup, the team was repeatedly stonewalled by Mason.

The Flyers, on the other hand, put four unanswered goals past netminder Thomas Greiss over the course of the 43 minutes following Sutter’s tally.

Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, and Michael Del Zotto each potted powerplay goals for Philly while Ryan White scored an even-strength marker as well.

Pittsburgh’s special-teams were, suffice to say, subpar in the contest.

The Pens scored on their first man-advantage opportunity of the game, but failed to tally on a prime chance in the third period when Claude Giroux and Voracek were both sent to the box.

Meanwhile, the Pens gave up three powerplay goals on four attempts from Philly – a trend that has persisted seemingly for the last few seasons.

Pittsburgh’s gunners certainly gave it their all in the losing effort, however.

Patric Hornqvist, Derrick Pouliot, Blake Comeau, and Brandon Sutter all racked up five shots each.

Malkin looked dangerous throughout the game, yet managed only one shot in 18:06 of ice-time.

While Pittsburgh had the edge in shots, the Flyers were once again the more physical of the two clubs, bringing a playoff brand of hockey and outhitting Pittsburgh to the tune of 46-38.

While the excuses are certainly there (the loss of Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff, Mason playing excellently, Greiss looking mediocre, etc.) the fact is the Pens just don’t seem to have the desperation level or the collective strategy to get past the teams they need to beat.

The injuries have caused issues, sure, but great teams are bigger than their personnel. Right now, the Penguins may be a good team, but they certainly don’t look like a great team.

With the loss, Pittsburgh’s record falls to 42-26-11. They remain in the first Eastern conference Wild Card spot with 95 points – three points behind the New York Islanders for the last Metropolitan division spot and three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators.

For the first time in quite a while, the Pens’ playoff spot is very much in question.

Their tilt with Ottawa on April 7th will be a pivotal one in determining where the two teams finish come playoff time.

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