The Flyers are understandably proud of being the NHL’s overall points leader after their 3-2 win over Pittsburgh Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
But they are not getting carried away with their position _ and that’s a good sign.
“It’s December. It was a big test for us, a challenge to see where we were at, obviously, but I don’t think we can put too much into it,” defenseman Chris Pronger said. “We’ve got to continue to look at the bigger picture, understand they’ve got a good hockey team over there.”
The Penguins had won 12 straight, which was tied for the eighth-longest streak in NHL history.
“We’re at home, we have the last line change, everything is stacked in our favor and we took advantage of it,” Pronger said. “Again, as I said, it’s mid December. We’ve got a long way to go yet.”
Captain Mike Richards wasn’t happy with the two power-play goals the Flyers allowed _ or the fact they gave the Penguins a power play in the waning minutes.
“That’s an awful trademark to have,” he said of the team’s penchant for late penalties. “It’s something that has to stop, and I think we stress this every game, before the game, during the game and after.”
During even-strength situations, the Flyers allowed only 14 shots.
“We made them come through us,” Richards said. “I don’t think they had many chances where they gained the line with possession, and they’re obviously a team that’s great off the rush and in transition.”
Sidney Crosby took the loss in stride.
“Sometimes you need that,” said the Penguins superstar after a two-assist night. “It’s not like you go into games hoping to lose, but there were a few times where we didn’t play great and we ended up finding a way to win. Tonight, we played a good team that made us pay for not starting well.
“Luckily for us, we have a game (Wednesday against the Rangers), so we can look to respond and rebound.”
The Flyers also play Wednesday, facing the Canadiens in Montreal.
“Last time we went in there, we felt like we played two pretty good periods,” Pronger said of the Flyers’ 3-0 loss to Carey Price and Co. on Nov. 16. “For whatever reason, the third we threw up a stinker and didn’t rally or rebound as well as we could have. We know they’re playing well right now, so we’ve got to be prepared.”
Breakaways. The Flyers outshot the Penguins, 37-23, despite being outshot 8-0 in the first 9:13 of the second period. From that point, the Flyers outshot the Penguins 25-8…..Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros were each plus-1. Meszaros took over the league lead at plus-19 and O’Donnell (plus-18) jumped into a tie for second…..Brian Boucher is 5-0-1 in his last six starts with a 1.76 GAA and a .940 save percentage…..Claude Giroux’s goal gave him points in five of his last six games (3-3-6). It was his 15th goal in his 32nd game. He finished last year with 16 goals.
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