Flyers

Flyers' rivalry turns to rout in the blink of an eye

Flyers' rivalry turns to rout in the blink of an eye

BOX SCORE

Whatever that proverbial hump looks like, wherever you may find it and however high it stands, the Flyers just can’t seem to get over it this season.

Tuesday’s night’s 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins was all the proof you needed as the Flyers had a prime opportunity to pass up their cross-state rival in the wild-card standings, only to watch it come crashing down in a span of two minutes and 17 seconds when the Pens scored three unanswered goals (see observations).

“We know [there are] big points for grabs, especially tonight,” Sean Couturier said. “It was a good chance to make a statement and get back in the standings, but we lost that chance. We still have 40-something games left, so there’s still lots of hockey left.” 

Coming off their most impressive win of the season, a 5-3 victory last Friday in Tampa over the NHL’s best team at the midway point, the Flyers reverted back to the team that brings the required effort but can’t seem to pair that with the necessary goals or sound defensive play.

“We can’t have off nights like this,” said Brian Elliott, who was pulled after two periods once he surrendered four goals on 14 shots. “It didn’t seem like we had it tonight for whatever reason. We got caught in the second period there, but not what we want to see tonight.”

On this particular night, the Penguins didn’t even need the All-Star services of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Surprisingly, it was the play of their fourth line that made the difference as Tom Kuhnhackl and Ryan Reaves (two goals combined entering the game) both scored in that decisive second period (see highlights).

“Well, they’re a big, heavy line,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “They’re hard to handle down low, but you have to defend hard on the right side of them with your feet, sticks and at the right time physically.”

One play may have summed up the breakdowns perfectly. The Penguins won a puck battle in their end of the ice and chipped it out to forward Conor Sheary, who broke in all alone for an easy goal after rookie defenseman Robert Hagg was caught up on the wrong side of the ice.

“We just made some consecutive, critical mistakes,” Andrew MacDonald said. “We had some shifts where we made some errors, not just one but multiple, and they ended up in the back of our net. That kind of summed it up.”

It was also the first time this season the Flyers allowed four goals in one period, as the Penguins ripped off all four of those goals in four minutes and 29 seconds to put the game well out of reach.

One team converted its chances and the other simply did not. The Flyers were also the recipients of odd-man rushes, open looks and power-play opportunities, but they came up short. At some point, the process of playing hard-nose hockey has to yield offensive production. 

Sometimes the Flyers find the back of the net, but more often than not, they come up empty.

“First period, we had a lot of chances. It just didn’t really go in and we’ve got to find a way for it to go in,” captain Claude Giroux said. “It’s frustrating. We know we can play better. We know we’re a better team than that and we’ll have to answer next game.” 

“I don’t think there’s a whole lot we would change in the first 30 minutes,” Hakstol said. “It’s the next two, two and a half minutes that cost us the game.”

If they don’t correct the necessary flaws and mistakes, that hump the Flyers have attempted to repeatedly climb will grow into an unscalable mountain.

Carter Hart's Eagles-themed Stadium Series mask is a thing of beauty

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USA TODAY Images

Carter Hart's Eagles-themed Stadium Series mask is a thing of beauty

Our harts truly cannot handle this.

It looks like we’ve finally gotten a peek at the highly anticipated Carter Hart mask for the Stadium Series game on Saturday at 8 p.m. on NBC. 

Hart, who attended the Eagles-Cowboys game this past season, mentioned on Feb. 14 that the helmet would be Eagles-inspired, since they are playing at Lincoln Financial Field ... and we are thrilled about these worlds colliding.

The helmet certainly did not disappoint.

One side was shown on Twitter on Friday, which bears an image of your Super Bowl LII MVP, Nick Foles. On the top, the Eagles' logo and the inscription “Philadelphia Eagles.” 

Here it is, in all its glory.

And shortly after, the Flyers released a video of Hart explaining the helmet design, which features Carson Wentz on the other side and the Eagles' team motto, "We all we got, we all we need," on the back.

And some more looks from our guys from ice level.

It also got the seal of approval from Eagles DT Fletcher Cox, who swapped jerseys with the 20-year-old netminder.

What a glorious, glorious collaboration.

 Fly, Carter, Fly.

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Flyers vs. Penguins Stadium Series game still on as scheduled ... for now

Flyers vs. Penguins Stadium Series game still on as scheduled ... for now

The game goes on … for now.

Concerns have grown throughout the week about the expected rainfall for Saturday night's Stadium Series game between the Flyers and Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field on NBC.

However, the game will continue as scheduled, according to the NHL, which released the following statement Friday afternoon:

Despite there being some level of precipitation in the forecast, the National Hockey League continues preparations for tomorrow's 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The League is monitoring the conditions and, as of now, the game is still on as originally scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Lincoln Financial Field. The NHL will issue a further update by 12 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The forecast has not looked pretty during the week. A consistent rainfall was expected Saturday evening into early Sunday morning. Obviously, rain can be one of the most problematic types of Mother Nature with outdoor hockey.

According to weather reports, the chance of rain increases late Saturday night, early Sunday morning and doesn't appear as likely and heavily for the 8 p.m. puck drop.

For the latest updates on the forecast, visit NBC Philadelphia right here.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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