Hart pulled for 1st time this season, Flyers rolled by Pens in 9th straight loss


The Flyers were booed by their fans and battered by the Penguins on Black Friday.

Carter Hart was pulled for the first time this season and the beleaguered Flyers were dominated by Pittsburgh in a 4-1 loss at the Wells Fargo Center.

The lopsided defeat pushed the Flyers' losing streak to nine games (0-6-3). John Tortorella's club is 7-9-5 overall.

People around here have seen this before.

Last season, the Flyers had separate losing streaks of 13 games (0-10-3), 10 games (0-8-2) and six games twice (0-4-2, 0-6-0).

"Honestly, it hasn't really crossed my mind," Kevin Hayes said of last season's skids. "I think those streaks are kind of for the media and for everyone that reads about our team. It's not fun to be a part of the losing streaks, it's fun to be a part of the winning streaks. I don't think there's a correlation. It's a new 60 minutes every night and we should be able to get out of it."

Injuries have hit hard again, but general manager Chuck Fletcher vowed that the Flyers would be more competitive in 2022-23. Another spiral on the brink of reaching double digits is the organization falling well short of those expectations right now.

The Flyers had their best crowd since the season opener. Fans were voicing their displeasure before the second period even wrapped up.

"I have no answers for the boos," Tortorella said postgame. "That's their call. We can't be concerned about that.

"I just don't think we had much juice tonight."

The Flyers have been outscored 39-18 during the nine-game losing streak.

"I don't even talk about streaks, losing streaks, playoffs. I don't," Tortorella said before the game. "We just try to get ready for each and every game. I'm not a big measuring stick guy against a team. That doesn't come into my thinking as far as trying to get a team ready to play."

Because of injuries, his team was without six forwards for a third straight game.

"I can't evaluate who the Flyers are because I haven't seen them enough; we've had so many guys out for so long," Tortorella said. "But I certainly can evaluate the opportunity that some of the kids have gotten because of all the injuries.

"To me, there's some really good things going on with that as far as how the kids are improving."

Hayes scored the Flyers' lone goal Friday. He was one of two forwards with over 200 games of NHL experience in the Flyers' lineup.

"We've done a lot of teaching," Tortorella said. "The first six weeks, the first 20 games, I've never shown more tape in 20 games in my career. But I think it's needed, based on the youth of the team and all the injuries, plus our schedule.

"I think [the teaching] has gone very well. I'm never going to be happy, we're still making mistakes that confound me — 'we just showed you that.' But that's part of teaching. It's repetition and try to find a way to get it to be instinctive."

The Penguins (11-7-3) have won five straight. The Flyers face them two more times this season, with both matchups in Pittsburgh: March 11 and April 2.

• Hart wasn't sharp but he sure wasn't the Flyers' biggest problem.

"That had nothing to do with Carter," Tortorella said of the decision to take out his goalie.

Ryan Poehling scored a pair of second-period goals to put the Penguins in total control. Hart was yanked after the second one.

The 24-year-old finished with 17 saves on 21 shots.

Felix Sandstrom kept Pittsburgh off the board in relief.

Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry stopped 29 of the Flyers' 30 shots.

• The Flyers fell behind 2-0 for the 11th time in 21 games. Pittsburgh's first two goals came in the back half of the first period.

A turnover by Justin Braun resulted in a Penguins 2-on-1. Hart made the initial save but Josh Archibald stuffed the rebound to put Pittsburgh in front.

With 31 seconds left in the opening frame, Sidney Crosby found the slot and impressively deflected home a pass. He found the slot area pretty much unimpeded.

• Tony DeAngelo limped up the tunnel during the second period but was able to stay in the game.

• Nicolas Deslauriers and Nick Seeler each had fights during the second period. The Flyers didn't feed off of them.

"We can't go down the path of saying injuries, injuries," Deslauriers said. "Yes, we have some good players that are out. But those are times to prove to the organization that if you're a young guy, you want to be an NHLer, and if you're a guy like me on the fourth line, you want to play more."

• The Flyers are right back it Saturday when they visit the Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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