One night after they scored an impressive win in Boston, the Flyers were listless in Tuesday's 6-1 loss in Pittsburgh.
"It's big-time frustrating," captain Mike Richards said. "We come in here and say all the right words, and then we go out and don't execute and kind of have mental lapses that turn into goals….Right now, we're not playing with enough heart to have success."
The Flyers were 1 for 6 on the power play, were outshot 35-27, and allowed odd-man rushes all night.
It all produced their eighth loss in their last 10 games. They have scored a total of seven goals in those eight defeats.
Jordan Staal scored two goals _ including a key shorthanded tally that gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead in the first period _ and Flyer killer Sidey Crosby (goal, two assists) recorded three points for the winners.
The Flyers hope Blair Betts, Simon Gagne and Darroll Powe can return from injuries shortly. When they do, will they still have the same teammates _ or will GM Paul Holmgren have unloaded one of his underachieving "stars?"
I would wait a few weeks and see if the returning players give them a boost.
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It was the teams' first meeting since a 5-4 Pittsburgh win at the Wachovia Center on Oct. 8. In that game, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang accused Scott Hartnell of biting him. Really.
Hartnell was booed loudly and was the subject of derisive chants throughout Tuesday's game. They were numerous signs about Hartnell at the Igloo, including one that read: HARTNELL SAYS LETANG TASTES LIKE CHICEKN AND IS FINGER LICKING GOOD!
Letang set up the Penguins' fourth goal, virtually sealing the Flyers' fate late in the middle period. Hartnell's stray pass was recovered by Staal, who started an odd-man rush out of his own zone. That set up a Letang shot from the left circle that Brian Boucher kicked aside…but right to the ever-present Staal, who knocked in his second goal of the night to give the Penguins a 4-1 lead with 15 seconds left in the second period.