Flyers blow early lead, fall to rival Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers
Nicklas Grossman was back in action Thursday night, but the Flyers lost to the Penguins, 5-4.

Will this be the one they’ll point to as their undoing seven weeks from now? Will the Flyers find themselves on the outside looking in when the playoffs get underway because they applied the “Golden Rule” in reverse Thursday night in a devastating 5-4 loss to their bitter cross-state rival Penguins.

Only worse.

Two weeks after erasing an early two-goal deficit in a wild, 6-5 win in Pittsburgh — capped when Jake Voracek completed his first career hat trick with 1:31 left — the Flyers did unto the Pens one better. They coughed up a seemingly commanding 4-1 first-period lead which had sent goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to the bench during a complete 10-minute second breakdown that also prematurely ended Ilya Bryzgalov’s night.

When Chris Kunitz took advantage of a Kimmo Timonen turnover to beat Brian Boucher just 18 seconds into the third for his second of the night, it proved the game-winner.

Tomas Vokoun, who only had to face 14 shots the last two period after a shaky Fleury was bombarded with 18, wound up winning the battle of the bullpens, getting a reprieve when Scott Hartnell’s apparent tying goal was disallowed for having a high stick.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t going to sit back and hand over two points,” said a disgusted Hartnell in a somber Flyers’ locker room as Philadelphia slipped to 11-13-1. “They’re going to come hard. Before you know it’s 4-4 and you just can’t do that. It’s embarrassing to the fans and it’s embarrassing to one another. We let another two points slip away.”

It’s an all too familiar refrain for a team that simply can’t seem to stand prosperity. What made it more disturbing was they specifically talked about avoiding such a collapse after building the lead on a pair of Voracek goals, along with solos by Zac Rinaldo and Kimmo Timonen.

“You see this type of stuff happen all the time,” said Boucher. “If you take your foot off the gas, things change in a hurry. We talked about it in between periods. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer why things changed direction. You can’t give up leads like that if you want to keep making your way up the standings.”

In the Flyers’ case, they’re going in the opposite direction, having slipped all the way down to 11th in the East, three points behind the 8th place Rangers, who also hold three games in hand.

“We need to do a better job finishing up games,” said Peter Laviolette, with the 15-3-3 Bruins next on the agenda, followed by Buffalo. “We’ve had a lot of tie games and a lot of situations to win games and they’ve slipped away. We talked about it before we went out there for the second period that Pittsburgh’s game would elevate and ours would need to stay elevated.  It didn’t. That period, we were sleeping.”

And if they’re not careful the Flyers may well snooze themselves right out of the playoffs.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."