Penguins dominate Flyers behind a 3 point night from Sidney Crosby

Game 34:Post-Philadelphia Thoughts
Luckily for members of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Christmas trade freeze is four days away as tonight’s 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins may be the tipping point for Flyers management that wholesale changes are needed.

The Flyers were over-matched and dominated by the superior Penguins in every facet of the game as Jordan Staal (9, 10) scored twice and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists lifting the Penguins to a 6-1 victory over the Flyers Thursday night.
Bill Guerin (8), Ruslan Fedotenko (6) and Evgeni Malkin (10) also added goals for Pittsburgh who out shot the Flyers 35-27 on the night. Marc Andre Fleury made 26 saves to earn his 19th win of the season.
The Flyers have lost 11 of 14 games and a concern for the Flyers in the midst of their losing trend has been the play of shutdown defenseman Chris Pronger.
These type of games were the sole reason the Flyers gave up a substantial return for Pronger but it was another mediocre game for the All-Star defenseman.
Pronger was a minus-2 on the night and defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle were a combined minus-5.
The two teams meet again Thursday night in Philadelphia to conclude a home and home series.
Post-Game Wrap up
*Just as it was scripted, there were plenty of altercations tonight.  Three fighting majors were awarded to Pittsburgh, (Craig Adams, Michael Rupp, Eric Godard) less than 6 minutes into the game and the altercations really got the Penguins going.
“Those guys did a great job in those fights and got us going,” center Jordan Staal said.
Staal has three goals in two games against the Flyers this season and had his first multi-goal game since November 15th, 2008. The way Staal’s progressing, his next multi-goal game won’t be another 12 months away.
*Sidney Crosby set the tone early for the Penguins and he’s playing like the best player in the game.
Crosby always gets up for the Flyers but he had an extra jump in his step tonight.
*Pittsburgh’s revamped power play went 1-for-4 and there was more movement, creativity against Philadelphia.
Another bright sign is that the Penguins gave Philadelphia a number of different looks.
Matt Cooke had 1:52 of power play time and created a net presence on the Penguins lone power play goal but the Cooke experiment may not last too long. Jordan Staal is getting more looks on the first unit and will continue to do so.
*Brooks Orpik is having his best season of his career. He’s a unique defenseman who plays a punishing style to go along with a great skating ability.
The difference scouts see in Orpik compared to just two seasons ago is maturity and discipline.
*Ruslan Fedotenko has put together back-to-back solid games. Fedotenko has three points in his last two games including a goal and an assist tonight.
*The consensus among league executives is that for the Flyers to turn the corner, culture of the team has to change.
Scott Hartnell is a good player and while he’s never been a lady Byng candidate, since coming to Philadelphia he plays erratically and hurts his team at times.
The same for Daniel Carcillo. Both of them have this mindset that they have to try to be the broad street bullies. Peter Laviolette is not going to be able to change that because that’s the mindset the front office has.
Despite a glaring weakness in goal, the Flyers are a talented team but changes are needed.
Mike Richards said it best tonight, We’re {Flyers} not playing with enough heart right now to win,”
Talbot a healthy scratch
There were strong signs on Saturday at the Penguins morning skate that Max Talbot was the odd-man out with Chris Kunitz returning to the lineup and to no surprise Talbot was a healthy scratch tonight against Philadelphia.
Crosby/ Malkin versus Flyers
Crosby: 49pts in 28 games
Malkin: 35 pts in 23 games
Scoring Summary
*1st period
PIT: 3:30 Sidney Crosby (21, Power Play)
Assists: Fedotenko, Gonchar
PIT 6:09 Bill Guerin
Assists: Crosby, Orpik
PHI: 11:46 Daniel Carcillo (Power Play)
Assists: Richards, Carle
PIT: 14:51 Jordan Staal (9, Shorthanded)
Assists: Cooke, Orpik
*2nd Period
PIT: 19:45 Jordan Staal (10)
Assists: Letang, Crosby
*3rd Period
PIT: 12:17 Ruslan Fedotenko (6)
Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Eric Godard
PIT: 18:39 Evgeni Malkin (10, Shorthanded)
Assists: Jay McKee
Next Game: 12/17 @ Philadelphia (15-16-1)

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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