With the way the Flyers played Tuesday night, it didn't matter who was in net.
In their first of four regular-season matchups against the Penguins, the Flyers were embarrassed with a 7-1 loss at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins (8-5-0) manhandled the Flyers (5-5-1) from the opening puck drop. The game was ugly after the first period and a blowout by second intermission.
These losses do happen. They just look much worse when they come against your rival in their building. Last season, the Capitals lost to the Devils, 6-0, in their fourth game as defending champs. This season, the reigning champion Blues already have two losses to the Canadiens by a combined score of 11-5.
Still, it doesn't justify the Flyers' awful first period and loss. They're not starting well and they've been far too inconsistent through 11 games.
Fortunately for them, they don't play Pittsburgh again until Jan. 21, right before the team's bye week.
• The Penguins entered as the NHL's worst scoring team in the first period. They had four total goals during the opening stanza through 12 games.
They matched that mark in just one first period against the Flyers.
Pittsburgh completely dominated the Flyers as it was more skilled with the puck, faster to the puck and stronger on the puck. The Penguins were head and shoulders above the Flyers in all phases. The first period ultimately decided the game, so let's look at all four markers:
On the first goal, the Flyers were weaker on the puck, failed to clear it and defenseman Justin Schultz surprised Brian Elliott with his shot.
On the second goal, the Penguins won a puck battle behind the net and Jared McCann snuck in front of Chris Stewart to finish a point-blank shot.
On the third goal, Sidney Crosby made a slick pass from the side boards to a streaking Dominik Simon, who was wide open and fired away from the circle.
On the fourth goal, Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun couldn't stop a Pittsburgh rush that Crosby finished with a hell of a shot.
• The Flyers, from the forwards to the defensemen, didn't help Elliott, who wasn't good in his own right. It made for a bad combination against a team led by Crosby.
Elliott allowed six goals on 28 shots. In his previous four games (three wins), he allowed seven goals on 104 shots.
Carter Hart took over in the third period and yielded a goal in the final seconds.
• Through 11 games last season, the Flyers surrendered an NHL-most 46 goals, while scoring 31.
Through 11 games this season, the Flyers have allowed 37, while scoring 36.
Even after Tuesday night's debacle, they've been better — so that's a positive.
• If you're pleading for the Flyers to make a call-up, they're not in a favorable position to do so (see story).
• Crosby had a three-point game, giving him 102 points in 68 career regular-season games against the Flyers.
Sidney Crosby has scored a goal vs. 14 different Flyers goalies in his career:— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) October 29, 2019
• Oskar Lindblom scored the Flyers' only goal. He is tied with Travis Konecny for the team lead at six.
• The Flyers will have a few days to stew over this one before visiting the Devils on Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
They return home Saturday to play the Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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