The Pittsburgh Penguins exploded for four goals in the second period to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1, Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Phil Kessel, Ryan Reaves, Conor Sheary, Tom Kuhnhackl and Jamie Oleksiak each scored and the Penguins improved to 20-18-3 with a pair of victories over the Flyers this season. Riley Sheahan and Evgeni Malkin each added a pair of assists for Pittsburgh.
The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins had dropped seven of their last 10 games, including a 4-1 loss at Detroit on New Year’s Eve.
Jordan Weal scored for the Flyers, who opened their four-game homestand in shaky fashion.
Philadelphia goaltender Brian Elliott started his 14th consecutive game and struggled mightily in the second period. The Flyers fell to 16-15-8 and couldn’t maintain the momentum gained from a 5-3 win Friday at Tampa Bay.
Elliott was pulled for the final 20 minutes and replaced by Michal Neuvirth.
In a wild second period, the teams combined for four goals in a short span of 2:14 with the Penguins scoring three times and the Flyers once.
Kessel scored his 17th of the season on the power play with 10:25 remaining. It was the fifth straight game that the Flyers had allowed the first goal.
Just 54 seconds later, Weal responded with his fourth goal after redirecting Radko Gudas’ shot in front.
Reaves was an unlikely candidate to put the Penguins ahead 2-1 but that’s exactly what happened with his first goal in 38 games with 8:51 left. Forty seconds after Reaves’ goal, Sheary got loose on a breakaway and gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 advantage following his 11th goal of the season.
Kuhnhackl, a fourth-line right winger, extended the lead to three goals at 4-1 with 6:34 remaining.
The four Pittsburgh goals came on only eight shots and when the buzzer sounded, boos were clearly heard from the Flyers fans.
Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 16 of 17 shots before leaving with an apparent injury. Jarry was replaced by Matt Murray late in the second.
Oleksiak scored the Penguins’ fifth goal with 5:56 left.
The four-goal advantage was more than enough and the Penguins moved to 11-0-0 this season when leading after two periods.
—Field Level Media