Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 3-0 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
* The Penguins' contest against the Flyers was their 11th game in 20 days with seven being on the road on four separate road trips. That's a game every other day with a back-to-back affair. The team has played a lot of hockey in the month of January. And it's showing. Really, it's been showing.
The Penguins didn't have their normal jump starting in Boston last Thursday. The same can be said about Friday in Detroit, Sunday afternoon against Boston in Pittsburgh and tonight in Philadelphia. In all of those games the team fell behind. Pittsburgh was able to muster enough to overcome in wins against Detroit and a remarkable comeback against Boston Sunday.
But the team just didn't have enough left in the reserves to do the same against the Flyers. The Penguins couldn't match the Flyers intensity and never mustered much zone time. Try as they may, they weren't able to break through.
* With the game over, the Penguins enter the All-Star break and their bye week, giving them eight days away from hockey. And it couldn't have come at a better time. The Penguins need a physical and mental break to recharge. It'll be a grind down the stretch, and this recovery time is crucial.
* One major bright spot for Pittsburgh was the play of goaltender Tristan Jarry. The Flyers tilted the ice in their favor for most of the contest. Jarry made several key saves, bailing out some bad plays by his own teammates on occasion, to keep the game within reach for Pittsburgh. Jarry did his job and should feel good about his game as he heads to St. Louis for the All-Star festivities this weekend.
* The Penguins best scoring chance came off the stick of Andrew Agozzino. He was set up on a nice pass play from Alex Galchenyuk across the crease. Agozzino's shot went off the post and then was covered by Flyers goalie Brian Elliott.
The next best chance occurred in the third period after defenseman Marcus Pettersson's slap shot rung off the post and off Elliott's back. Sidney Crosby desperately tried to get to the puck to knock it in, but was unable to reach around Elliott.
* The Penguins have experienced their fair share (more than their fair share) of injuries this season, as has been well documented (209 to be accurate). So, the team held its collective breath when defenseman Chad Ruhwedel was hobbled late in the second period with an apparent knee-on-knee collision with Jakub Voracek.
Ruhwedel was backpedaling in the blue line and about to catch an elevated dump pass. Before he could snag the rubber, Voracek stuck out his leg and Rudwedel went down immediately. He left the ice in pain, but was able to return for the start of the second period and finished the game.