Flyers analysis

No Konecny, another injury and Flyers drop crazy game to Penguins

Drysdale exited in the second period after taking a hit and did not return as the Flyers lost, 7-6

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Despite showing a never-say-die attitude, the Flyers couldn't slow down the Penguins in a wild, 7-6 loss Sunday at PPG Paints Arena.

The Flyers' only lead came 2:11 minutes into the action on Travis Sanheim's game-opening goal. John Tortorella's team rallied twice to tie the game, but Pittsburgh answered each time with two more goals.

Cal Petersen, making just his second start in 106 days, yielded the seven goals on 32 shots.

With Travis Konecny out over the weekend because of an upper-body injury, the Flyers (30-22-7) dropped both games of a back-to-back set. They fell to the Rangers, 2-1, Saturday in Philadelphia.

This is a bit of a gut check for Tortorella's upstart club. The Flyers have lost four of their last five games (1-3-1), a stretch in which they've allowed 20 goals. The lone win during that span came over the NHL-worst Blackhawks.

The Flyers went 2-2-0 against the Penguins (26-21-8) this season. Pittsburgh picked up at least a point in all four matchups.

The Penguins on Sunday were without their second-leading scorer Jake Guentzel, who suffered an upper-body injury a week and a half ago.

Sidney Crosby once again did damage against the Flyers, finishing with a four-point game (one goal, three assists).

• The Flyers had another missed opportunity against a Metropolitan Division team trying to chase them down.

A win in regulation for the Flyers would have buried Pittsburgh deeper in the standings. The Flyers, in third place, entered Sunday's game with a 68.1 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to's probabilities report. The Penguins came in with a 30.5 percent chance.

But Pittsburgh has crept to within seven points of the Flyers and has played four fewer games.

• The Flyers' 31st-ranked power play went 1 for 5 in 6:49 minutes of ice time.

The only goal was Tyson Foerster's second of the game, which made it 7-6 with 2:03 minutes left. The Flyers had their net emptied to give themselves a 6-on-4 opportunity.

Scott Laughton scored the Flyers' league-leading 14th shorthanded goal to make it a 4-4 game at second intermission. But the Flyers' power play has just 11 more goals than the PK this season.

• Jamie Drysdale took a hard hit from Jansen Harkins in the neutral zone during the second period. The 21-year-old defenseman had to leave the game and did not return.

The TNT broadcast showed Drysdale going up the tunnel in a hurry, appearing to favor the area of his left arm and shoulder.

The 2020 sixth overall draft pick has battled injuries. He missed the majority of last season because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

The Flyers, still focused on rebuilding, could be open to trading one of their three veteran defensemen by the March 8 deadline. But if the Flyers are to lose Drysdale for an extended period of time, their decisions become much tougher.

Half of the Flyers' goals Sunday came from the back end (two for Sanheim, one for Cam York).

Update: The latest on Drysdale, Konecny; Flyers call up a young forward

Jamie Drysdale exited with an injury after a heavy shoulder-to-shoulder hit from Jansen Harkins.

• Petersen finished with 25 saves. He was not sharp. Not playing much hasn't helped his readiness.

Two of the goals he surrendered were deflected. He needed to make a save on Emil Bemstrom's 4-2 marker in the second period, which came on a Penguins power play.

Pittsburgh did a lot of work down low, keeping Petersen on the move.

The Flyers went with Samuel Ersson in Saturday's big home game against first-place New York. They don't want to overwork the 24-year-old rookie. They have 15 games in March and are going to need Petersen to give them some reliable starts.

"It's a guy that I respect because he's in a tough spot," Tortorella said Friday. "He doesn't play much, he's down in the minors, comes up and plays. Ers is going to get the lion's share of the games, but we need Cal. There aren't many breaks in the games as far as competition as the schedule is laid out. I am not going to kill Ers."

Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry needed to stop just 15 of the Flyers' 21 shots.

• Laughton was arguably the Flyers' best player on the ice.

He had two assists and a plus-4 rating to go along with his goal. He's on a seven-game point streak (three goals, seven assists).

Over the last two seasons, Laughton leads the NHL in shorthanded scoring with 14 points (five goals, nine assists).

You can bet contending teams are taking notice. But Laughton is also showing the Flyers his value to them at this time of the year.

• Olle Lycksell, recalled after putting up a four-point game Saturday for AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, drew into the lineup and tallied two assists. It was his best game as a Flyer.

Egor Zamula was a healthy scratch as Tortorella went with the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen.

• The Flyers return home for a matchup Tuesday with the Lightning (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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