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POSTGAME 5: Missing the Point

Flyers fight back for point, drop OT decision to Crosby and the Pens in Pittsburgh

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
The Philadelphia Flyers took three out of four points in a home-and-home set with the Pittsburgh Penguins bisected by the All-Star break and bye week. On Friday night, they battled back from a 3-1 deficit but lost in overtime, 4-3.

A late first period power play goal by Jakub Voracek sent the Flyers to intermission with a 1-0 lead. Second period goals Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Kris Letang put Pittsburgh ahead, 3-1. Malkin assisted on both, while Sidney Crosby directly set up the Malkin and Letang goals.

Tyler Pitlick got a goal back for the Flyers late in the second period. Scott Laughton deflected home a tying goal early in the third period after a Kevin Hayes shot initially went off Pitlick.

In overtime, Crosby scored the game winner at the 55-second mark. Brian Elliott stopped 16 of 20 shots in a losing cause. Tristan Jarry denied 27 of 30.

Three Stars:
1st: Sidney Crosby (1g-2a)
2nd: Evgeni Malkin (1g-2a)
3rd: Jakub Voracek (1g)

TURNING POINT
Sean Couturier's overtime turnover in his own zone caused everything to unravel. The Flyers got a temporary reprieve on a shot that hit the goal post but couldn't get a line change. Pittsburgh did. Then Crosby had all sorts of time and space to skate to the right circle and beat Elliott. 

MELTZER'S TAKE
1) The first period was rather cautiously played for the most part, with both teams coming off the All-Star break and their bye weeks. The best early chance for the Flyers was a Kevin Hayes shot from the just above the left hash marks that hit the near-side post. Pittsburgh's Justin Schultz and Dominik Simon (off a great feed by Sidney Crosby) forced Elliott to make tough saves. 

2) Farabee also played a valuable part in the Voracek goal that opened the scoring. While Matt Niskanen made an outstanding cross-ice pass to the goal scorer, who made no mistake from the the left side with plenty of net staring at him, the goal would not have been possible had Farabee not set up in front the net and then deftly dug the loose rebound of a Travis Sanheim point to Niskanen.Video: PHI@PIT: Pitlick picks top corner with wrist shot

3) A 1-0 Flyers lead rapidly turned into a 2-1 defict early in the second period. The Flyers got hemmed in. A tipped (by Ivan Provorov) and fluttering shot went to Malkin after Elliott couldn't corall it, and Malkin tapped it in tie the game at 1-1. Then Jared McCann beat Phil Myers off a set play on center ice draw and Myers took a penalty. Malkin and Crosby moved the puck to Rust, whose partially blocked shot trickled over the goal line... After Travis Konecny was called for tripping on a play where he got tripped, the Penguins scored again on the power play to make it a 3-1 lead. 

4) Letang's sloppy turnover to Niskanen started the eventual goal sequence or the Flyers as the fourth line got the team back within a goal late in the middle frame. Letang was also beaten by Nicolas Aube-Kubel going to the net and Pitlick buried his shot at 16:29.

5) The Flyers utterly dominated the third period, and the Penguins were actuallty the team that was lucky the game got to overtime. But Couturier's turnover in OT proved fatal, as the Flyers never regained the puck.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* Jake Voracek scored for the second straight game against the Penguins - he has more goals (23) and points (43) in 43 games against the Penguins than any other team in NHL career. Video: PHI@PIT: Voracek fires puck into open net for PPG

* Joel Farabee extended his point streak with an assist on Voracek's opening goal... He now has points in four straight games (2g-2a).

* Matt Niskanen (2a) and Tyler Pitlick (1g-1a) each had two-point nights.

* Ivan Provorov logged 27:13 of ice time... van Riemsdyk and Couturier led with four shots each, while Nicolas Aube-Kubel had seven hits.

* The teams combined for just four shots on goal through the first 15 minutes of the game and finished the period with seven combined shots (PHI: 4, PIT: 3).

* The Flyers come right back with another game when they play the second of a back-to-back and host the Colorado Avalanche at the Wells Fargo Center. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP+ and 93.3 WMMR.

THEY SAID IT
Video: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to PITVideo: Hear from Pitlick, Hayes and Elliott after loss

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