PITTSBURGH — Five observations from the Flyers’ eighth straight loss, a 5-4 overtime defeat Monday in Pittsburgh:
Passive third period
Maybe all the losses and blown leads have created a lack of confidence. Maybe that explains why the Flyers were so passive in the third period.
Instead of having a killer instinct, they sat back and watched the Penguins outshoot them, 19-6, in the third. Pittsburgh had a 32-9 advantage in shot attempts in that period and scored three times as it erased a two-goal deficit.
First line outplayed
For one of the few times all season, the Flyers’ top line was outplayed. Sidney Crosby’s unit dominated Sean Couturier’s line, which went a combined minus-8.
Missing a crease clearer
The Flyers allowed 52 shots for the 11th time in franchise history, and their defense failed to clear the porch on three Pittsburgh goals.
Maybe 6-foot-7, 227-pound Samuel Morin could have helped? Just wondering. Morin was demoted to the Phantoms before Monday’s game.
The Flyers miss the physical play (but not the bad penalties) that the suspended Radko Gudas provided when he was in the lineup. In the five games he has missed, the Flyers have allowed 24 goals. Gudas has five games left on his suspension
The Flyers hit the post or crossbar four times in the second period, but still had a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
Which is when they have collapsed recently. During their eight-game losing streak, the Flyers have been outscored, 14-2, after the second period.
In other words, this team has disappeared at crunch time and needs its leaders to step up.
The Flyers failed to capitalize on two big breaks: Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin was injured and did not play, and No. 1 goalie Matt Murray had to be helped off the ice after a second-period collision with Jake Voracek and did not return.