As Brian Elliott worked between the pipes for the 500th time in his NHL career, Sidney Crosby did what he has done so much of in his career against the Flyers:
Score damaging goals and elicit boos from Flyers fans.
The Flyers once again failed to build off of a win as they suffered a 7-3 loss Tuesday night to the Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center.
Since the start of March, in games after a victory, the Flyers have gone 1-11-0 and been outscored 65-28.
Crosby burned them with two goals and an assist Tuesday night. He has 49 career regular-season goals against the Flyers, his most versus any NHL opponent. Despite scoring a goal Monday, the three-time Stanley Cup champion had an off game for his standards. He does not have many of those in succession.
"I think it was safe to figure that Sid had a tough game last night and him being the player that he is, the great player that he is, he’d want to have a bounce-back game," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said postgame. "And he certainty did."
Crosby's second goal was a dagger as the Flyers were trailing 4-3 in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Despite their underachieving season, the Flyers (23-23-7) finished with a winning record against Pittsburgh at 5-3-0. They won't write home about it.
With the victory, the Penguins (35-16-3) jumped back into first place of the East Division.
• Pittsburgh's top guns Crosby and Jake Guentzel ballooned a 1-0 lead to 3-0 with goals in the opening six minutes of the second period. At that point, Vigneault's club was in too deep against a team that is vying to win the division and was ticked off after losing, 7-2, the night before to the Flyers.
The Flyers got goals from Justin Braun, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny. The Flyers drew to within one on two occasions but couldn't net an equalizer. Pittsburgh made winning plays in a game it really wanted.
• In honor of Elliott's milestone, the Flyers had shirts made featuring the goaltender's popular nickname of "Moose" and his accomplishment of 500 career games. The shirts were awaiting the players in their locker stalls as the Flyers arrived to the arena.
"It was a nice little surprise and I'm sure he's pretty excited about it," Kevin Hayes said before the game.
Elliott's wife Amanda and their two boys were in attendance. They made a sign and watched warmups along the boards.
"It’s awesome," Elliott said postgame. "When we play mini sticks at home, I’m the one on the other side of the glass and I have to give 'knucks' as he's kind of wheeling around. It’s awesome to have them there. In a weird year like this where you’re away from your family a lot, it just makes everything that much better. Can’t wait to see them in the morning when they wake up pretty tired after spending the night at the rink."
After playing for the Senators, Avalanche, Blues and Flames, the 36-year-old Elliott has spent the past four seasons of his career with the Flyers. The club has highly valued the veteran for his positive influence on 22-year-old Carter Hart and his reliability in all circumstances, which aren't always glamorous as a backup.
"Moose is an ultimate teammate," Hayes said. "He's a guy that speaks up when he has to, he's also a guy that goes about business, shows how hard he works without saying anything. He's been around this league for a long time and there's a reason for it. Goalie is a tough position to make a long career out of, there's only been a few guys. In order for him to accomplish 500 games, it's incredible for him. He's a great leader for our team and he's a great leader for Carter."
Elliott made 24 saves on 30 shots Tuesday night. Pittsburgh had another gear and the Flyers were not nearly as good for their goaltender as they were Monday night.
Crosby's knockout punch came on nasty shot after the Flyers lost a board battle.
"It's a great shot from a great player," Vigneault said.
After Crosby made it 5-3, the Penguins tacked on two more for good measure — an empty-netter from ex-Flyer Mark Friedman and a power play tally from John Marino.
Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry converted 30 saves on 33 shots.
• Joel Farabee and his former teammate Friedman dropped the gloves in the second period. Friedman played four games with the Flyers this season before Penguins general manager Ron Hextall claimed him off waivers in February.
Friedman has been known as a player to draw penalties with strategy and agitation. All four of his games with Pittsburgh so far have come against the Flyers and there has been some feistiness.
In an early-March matchup, Friedman and Nolan Patrick clashed in numerous physical sequences. Friedman was left shaken up on the final incident and missed time with a concussion before returning to the Penguins' lineup for this two-game set in Philadelphia.
As Friedman scored his empty-net goal in the third period of Tuesday's game, Shayne Gostisbehere crosschecked him in the back, resulting in a mini melee between the two clubs.
Friedman's fight with Farabee was a good and respectful one. Both landed at least one punch.
Farabee, not exactly a fighter, already has four bouts in his career, an example of his competitiveness.
• The Penguins were not going to allow the Flyers to jump on them again. After the Flyers put up three first-period goals on them in Monday's lopsided victory, Pittsburgh responded Tuesday by taking a 1-0 lead into the opening intermission on Marcus Pettersson's early goal.
From then on, the Flyers were coming back all night, which leads to opening up and chasing.
• The Flyers have three games remaining, with two of them against the Capitals. The Flyers head to the nation's capital for a back-to-back set over Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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