Flyers drop another matinee to Penguins

The Flyers' Jakub Voracek goes for a rebound against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Flyers' Jakub Voracek goes for a rebound against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. (TOM MIHALEK / Associated Press)
Posted: February 19, 2012

Two of the Flyers' biggest struggles this season have been in goal and in afternoon games. Those two intersected again when the Flyers dropped a 6-4 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Starter Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky each surrendered three goals and the Flyers fell to 4-10-1 in games that have begun before 7 p.m. The Flyers and Penguins are now tied with 71 points in the Eastern Conference. The New York Rangers lead with 79 points.

Both goalies gave up questionable goals, and afterward coach Peter Laviolette tried his diplomatic best to discuss the goaltending situation.

"You're coming off of a day where we needed to be better," Laviolette said. "You're asking the question now, so I think everybody is frustrated right now with the loss to Pittsburgh and I think that we can be better in a lot of different areas, and that certainly is one of them."

Bryzgalov wasn't feeling much better than his coach.

"It's easy to find a scapegoat," Bryzgalov said. "You point to one guy and say we are always losing because we have a bad goalie, but I think that is the wrong philosophy."

Yet there is no denying that this was another subpar performance.

"I know I was frustrated in my game today and I know I got to do better," Bryzgalov said. "I will continue to work on this, but I will try to find peace in my soul to play in this city."

The Penguins broke a 3-3 tie by scoring two goals within the first three minutes of the third period.

Dustin Jeffrey's rebound just 37 seconds into the period gave the Penguins a 4-3 advantage. The lead increased to 5-3 when Pascal Dupuis' intended pass from the left side of the goal line went off Bobrovsky's skate and into the net, just 2 minutes, 9 seconds into the period.

"Once it got to be 5-3 we lost our steam there it seemed to me," Laviolette said.

Pittsburgh extended the margin to 6-3 when James Neal scored on a rebound of his own shot with 10:58 left in the game. It was his 30th goal of the season.

Wayne Simmonds scored his 21st goal with 19 seconds left to end the scoring,

The Penguins scored on their first shot of the game, definitely a sign of things to come. Forward Matt Cooke unleashed a slap shot from an angle near the left circle, 3:17 into the game.

Jaromir Jagr then scored twice in 18 seconds to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. Both came from near the right faceoff circle.

Jagr took a pass from Danny Briere, skated toward the goal, and fired a shot for the equalizer with 4:34 left in the first period. His second goal came on a four-on-three manpower advantage

In the second period, Jordan Staal knocked Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn hard into the boards. Coburn remained down momentarily.

Staal earned a penalty for boarding, but Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen neutralized matters by earning a two-minute misconduct penalty.

Later Saturday, the NHL fined Staal $2,500, the maximum allowed.

Later in the period the Pens took a 3-2 lead by scoring two shorthanded goals in a span of 1:43.

Staal tied the score at 2-2 when he sent a slap shot past Bryzgalov's glove. Then, with the Flyers holding a two-man advantage, Cooke, with Timonen on his back, scored on a wrist shot past Brygalov, who was replaced by Bobrovsky with 3:03 left in the second period.

"When they scored on our power play, we have to be a little bit more careful with making a better play," Jagr said. "We were probably pushing too much to get a goal and making bad plays."

Flyers rookie Eric Wellwood took advantage of a defensive miscue to score his first NHL goal and tie the score, 3-3. Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland was looking to spin and lost control of the puck. Wellwood then backhanded the puck in from in front of the net with 1:19 left in the second period.

The Penguins would assume control for good shortly after the third period began.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at, 856-779-3225 or @sjnard on Twitter.


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