Flyers

Penguins blitz depleted Flyers early, roll to earn 10th-straight win

PHILADELPHIA — The odds were always going to be against the Philadelphia Flyers ahead of Thursday’s Metropolitan Division showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but a sloppy first period set the tone for a dismal night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Bryan Rust scored two first period goals while the Penguins never trailed in an eventual 6-2 beatdown over the depleted Flyers, picking up their 10th-consecutive victory this season. Jake Guentzel also scored twice for Pittsburgh while Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby both registered multi-assist nights.

Rust’s eighth goal of the season put the Penguins in front with 7:36 left in the first period, kickstarting an ugly period all around for the Flyers. Crosby and Letang were credited with the assists as Rust scored at the back post on power play.

Rust doubled the Penguins lead later in the period, scoring from point-blank range on a four-on-four situation. It was the forward’s third-straight multi-goal game, continuing a red hot streak for the 29-year-old.

Things got worse for the Flyers as Guentzel added his 17th goal of the season to make it 3-0 for the Penguins. Guentzel’s close-range shot looked to be saved by Carter Hart, but Hart’s glove crossed the goal-line, extending Pittsburgh’s advantage.

Mike Yeo’s squad pulled a goal back with under 12 minutes to play in the second period as Cam Atkinson continued his strong season. Joel Farabee set up Atkinson on a two-on-one, before the veteran forward slapped a shot past Tristan Jarry for his 14th goal of the season.

Pittsburgh eventually killed any comeback hopes for the Flyers, padding its lead to 6-1 after scoring a trio of goals in a 3:01 span. Evan Rodrigues’ nifty finish added to the onslaught for the Penguins before Guentzel bagged his second tally of the night and Brian Boyle added a shorthanded goal with 8:09 remaining.

Oskar Lindblom’s consolation goal capped the final score at 6-2, subduing the Flyers to a third loss out of the past four games. Hart finished the game with 26 saves, continuing what has been a disappointing return to the lineup.

The Flyers remain at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday to face the San Jose Sharks, looking for a bounce-back performance.


You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at lhenry1919@gmail.com.

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