The only difference between this game and the game against the Rangers last Wednesday was that the Penguins weren't run out of the building. A rage portion of that has to do with the fact that the Rangers are a better hockey team than the Flyers but the way things played out for much of this game the Penguins should have been down by multiple goals. Just a frustrating performance.
This isn't like the Penguins are coming off a tough game last night, actually the Flyers are the team that that played last night while the Penguins were playing only their second game since last Wedmnesday night. The Penguins were playing against their biggest rival and while said rival hasn't been good this year it looked like the Penguins were playing in a preseason game. They looked disinterested and despite throwing a ton of pucks at Ray Emery they just never game you the feel they were going to win this game. I would say it is one of those nights but that is three games in a row where the Penguins have come out on the losing end and that sucks.
Now I say they look disinterested and that is in no way me saying that they didn't care. I am not a fan when people say that teams don't care and that they aren't trying because that is typically pretty far from the truth. The Penguins were trying and I know they were interested but it just looked like they were sleep walking through much of the game.
The Penguins actually dominated much of the first period. Actually a lot of the first period was in Pittsburgh's favor as they held a 16-8 shot advantage but much like the game a week ago they trailed after the first period. It felt like the Penguins should have been up multiple goals, but they weren't.
Maybe I should have known this was how the game was going to go in the first minute. The Penguins actually got on the board 19 seconds in but the Chris Kunitz goal was disallowed because he kicked the puck in. Really a no brainer to take this goal off the board as it was an obvious kick but it still sucks and after the game was over you look back at that and say "yea, that game went about how it should have after a disallowed goal like that in the first 20 seconds."
What might be most concerning is that the Penguins, in this three game losing streak, have only three goals. All three of those goals came on the power play. No even strength goals during those three games. Ugh.
Evgeni Malkin was probably the best player on the ice tonight for the Penguins and despite the strong play he still has been locked into a long scoring drought. He set up the lone Penguins goal when he found Sidney Crosby cross ice on the power play and it was a sick pass. Primary assists just count as much as goals for me but it would be nice to see him score some goals. he is getting chances so that is what really is important and when they start to fall they will come in bunches.
The Penguins gave away the puck 10 times tonight and lost the face-off battle 34-27. That is not a recipe for success. The Penguins had a really hard time entering the zone and when they did it was a lot of one-and-done opportunities. They did get some chances, and good ones, but they were few and far between and Emery did play some decent hockey and did enough to get the Flyers a win.
The third line has been pretty bad this season and Dan Bylsma seemed to not really care what lines were matching up against what tonight as the Flyers seemed to get the matchup they wanted every single time on the ice. These are things that show up in games like this and while they are problems that aren't just singled into this game they are things that need figured out.
The Penguins are going to have to figure this out as they are going to be playing a lot of hockey coming up this weekend. They play four games between Friday and Wednesday and they are going to need to win some of those games to make me feel better about things right now.