Sidney Crosby wasn't quiet this time.
The Flyers turned him away before the extended break but Crosby turned it on after to hand the orange and black a 4-3 overtime loss Friday night to the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.
Pittsburgh's superstar delivered his second three-point game in three meetings with the Flyers this season. He capped this performance with the OT winner after the Flyers impressively erased a 3-1 deficit (see highlights).
Following the All-Star festivities and their NHL-mandated bye week, the Flyers (27-17-7) entered the game one point out of a playoff spot. They have 31 games remaining, 13 of which come against the deep Metropolitan Division (see standings). To their credit, the Flyers are 9-2-4 within the division.
The Penguins (32-14-5) haven't lost consecutive games since Nov. 29-30, a stretch in which they've gone 18-5-1.
• The Flyers didn't play a terrible game. They allowed only 20 shots. They outshot the Penguins 17-4 in the third period. They got contributions from role players. They didn't have Carter Hart.
But Pittsburgh's big names earned the headlines. On the other hand, the Flyers' big names must do more. Head coach Alain Vigneault has said it over the course of the season.
In three games against the Penguins, Claude Giroux (one assist), Travis Konecny (one assist), James van Riemsdyk (one goal), Kevin Hayes (one assist) and Ivan Provorov (scoreless) have combined for four points.
• In their 3-0 blanking of Pittsburgh before the break, the Flyers held Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to without a point.
Those two going scoreless in the same game against the Flyers has happened only nine times.
It didn't come close to happening again 10 days later. Crosby and Malkin flipped the game with five points in a 7:08 span of the second period as the Penguins seized their 3-1 lead.
Matt Niskanen was caught watching the play on Malkin's goal, which ended the Flyers' 1-0 advantage.
Geno alone near the goal?— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 1, 2020
Oh yeah, we know what's happening next.
Crosby and Malkin then generated power play goals for Bryan Rust and Kris Letang. In the previous meeting, Pittsburgh's man advantage went 0 for 3 with only three shots.
The Penguins were not happy with their performance in Philly, so everyone expected a different team in Pittsburgh. Crosby and Malkin led that charge.
• Brian Elliott had his three-game winning streak snapped. During that spurt, he allowed only four goals on 87 shots. The Penguins cracked him four times on 20 shots.
The 34-year-old goalie has given the Flyers a lot. He could have been better Friday, but he wasn't a huge problem.
Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry entered with a 2.16 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. The Flyers have put up five goals and 59 shots against him in the last two games. Not too bad.
• Depth at forward will be topic of discussion all next month as the Feb. 24 trade deadline nears. That's probably the most glaring area in which the Flyers can add.
Well, the Flyers' bottom-six forwards gave general manager Chuck Fletcher plenty to like against the Penguins. Goals from Tyler Pitlick and Scott Laughton tied the game at 3-3. Nicolas Aube-Kubel made a strong play to assist Pitlick's tally, while Pitlick notched a helper on Laughton's marker.
Positive performances from many of the Flyers' role guys. The team did not get enough from its big boys.
Hayes with the shot and Laughton finishes the job!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 1, 2020
We're all tied up! pic.twitter.com/X2gyMFQGom
• The Flyers opened the game's scoring in the first period when Niskanen snuck a slick pass to Jakub Voracek for a power play goal.
Joel Farabee picked up an assist on the play, giving him a four-game point streak (two goals, two assists). Prior to the streak, he had two points (both assists) in his previous 15 games.
The Flyers will need the 19-year-old's offense down the stretch.
NISKANEN ➡️ VORACEK! pic.twitter.com/ULku2pyu9t— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 1, 2020
• Rivalry put aside, the Penguins showed they are "Oskar Strong" for Oskar Lindblom. Very cool gesture by Pittsburgh.
Even as a small gesture, I think it’s pretty awesome that teams around the league continue to show they’re thinking about Oskar.— Taryn Hatcher (@TarynNBCS) February 1, 2020
I remember G saying when Oskar’s diagnosis was announced that he wanted him to always feel that he was an important part of the team. #OskarStrong pic.twitter.com/sstM4lIkV5
• In their 11th back-to-back set out of 17, the Flyers return home Saturday night to play the Avalanche (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).
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