With Penguins missing a slew of players, Flyers let one slip past them in OT


As the puck slipped past Carter Hart's leg pad in overtime, the Flyers let one slip in Pittsburgh.

The Flyers lost to the Penguins, 3-2, in bonus time Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena.

Kris Letang snuck a wraparound attempt just past Hart for the OT winner. Officials originally believed Hart had the shot stopped, but after video review, the play was ruled a goal as the puck cleared the goal line.

Scott Laughton forced overtime with 2:52 minutes left in regulation. Travis Konecny got the Flyers on the board in the second period.

The Flyers (5-2-2) have gone 3-2-1 without top-pair defenseman Ryan Ellis, who is dealing with a nagging lower-body injury and has missed the last six games.

While the Flyers were able to snag a point on the road in their first Metropolitan Division game, they were also facing a severely undermanned Pittsburgh team and couldn't take full advantage. The Penguins (4-3-2) were missing Sidney Crosby (COVID-19 protocol), Evgeni Malkin (knee), Bryan Rust (lower body), Brian Dumoulin (COVID-19 protocol), Marcus Pettersson (COVID-19 protocol) and Chad Ruhwedel (COVID-19 protocol).

Then again, the Flyers were missing Ellis and second-line center Kevin Hayes (abdominal surgery).

Pittsburgh was also without its head coach Mike Sullivan, who was not behind the bench because of COVID-19 protocol. Assistant coach Todd Reirden took over in his stead.

• Coming off of a 29-save shutout over the Coyotes, Hart converted 33 saves on 36 shots from the Penguins.

The 23-year-old was pretty good as the Flyers never led and he made a number of big stops.

Jake Guentzel's go-ahead goal in the second period was against the Flyers' top defensive pair. Guentzel made a quick recovery to get his shot off and past Hart.

Hart was huge during an early second-period sequence. He made three saves within a 33-second span to keep the Flyers' deficit at 1-0. Keith Yandle committed a glaring turnover that resulted in one of the chances.

The overtime goal is a matter of an inch on a play in which Hart is going from post to post.

Pittsburgh netminder Tristan Jarry went 3-3-1 with a 3.65 goals-against average and .879 save percentage against the Flyers last season. On Thursday night, against what many believe is a much better Flyers team, the 26-year-old stopped 36 shots for the win.

• Konecny niftily scored in close on a second-period power play to draw the Flyers even at 1-1.

The Flyers' energizer bunny always revs up for the rivalry. In 23 career games against the Penguins, Konecny owns nine goals and 19 points, his most in both categories against any NHL team.

He had a game-high six shots.

The Flyers' power play finished 1 for 3 and their penalty kill went 2 for 2. 

• The Flyers' second defensive pair of Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen was rocky at times and seemed to play a lot in the defensive zone.

It was on the ice for Pittsburgh's first goal 16 seconds into the game.

The Flyers will use some patience with that pair, especially with Ellis out of the lineup. And head coach Alain Vigneault has said he believes Justin Braun and Yandle make a great third pair. But when Ellis does return, perhaps assistant coach Mike Yeo and company will consider putting Braun with Sanheim and Yandle alongside Ristolainen.

• The Flyers head to D.C. to face the Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). Ellis will miss his seventh straight game.

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