Flyers, Penguins meet, each coming off tough losses

Flyers, Penguins meet, each coming off tough losses

The Pittsburgh Penguins won't have to wait long to try to forget a frustrating loss. In the second half of their final set of back-to-back games, they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

Pittsburgh (39-24-9) spotted St. Louis a four-goal lead and fell 5-1 Saturday. The Penguins had won three straight and six of seven.

Penguins goaltender Matt Murray got pulled after giving up four goals on 13 shots, but he is expected to start Sunday. Despite the loss, he is 7-2-2 in his past 11 starts.

"As a team I think we played a pretty good game for the most part," Murray said. "We've got to take the positives from it, forget the result.

"It's all about perspective. We've got to move by this one. That's all we can do. That's the bottom line."

Pittsburgh remains in third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind the second-place New York Islanders.

"I think our mentality has to be a playoff one," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Sometimes it doesn't go your way and you've got to be able to forget about it and, fortunately, we play (Sunday). Our mindset's got to be on that and making sure we find a way to get two points."

The Penguins are 7-2-1 since the Flyers came from behind to beat them 4-3 in overtime Feb. 23 in an outdoor Stadium Series game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. They are 1-1-1 against Philadelphia.

Philadelphia (34-29-8) also is coming off a frustrating game.

Rats are chewing at the dusty thread that is holding up the Flyers' playoff chances, particularly after they blew a three-goal lead, allowed 51 shots and lost 7-6 Friday at Toronto to remain below the playoff cutoff in the Eastern Conference.

"It definitely stings," said James van Riemsdyk, who had a hat trick in the loss to the Maple Leafs and has 18 goals since Jan. 10 and nine in his past 10 games.

"We just have to move on and be ready to go Sunday. Obviously, it gets to the point where you only have so many bullets left in the chamber, and certainly we have to have a pretty good run here the rest of the way to put ourselves in a (playoff) position."

That was the Flyers' second loss in as many nights after they began March 4-1. They were beaten 5-2 by Washington on Thursday. It doesn't seem there is much margin for lost points now.

"Beating a dead horse here, but we've just got to worry about Pittsburgh on Sunday," Flyers interim coach Scott Gordon said.

"There's no alternative. You've just got to go out and play the game. When we look back in January and we were ... last in our conference, and we found a way to right the ship and give ourselves a chance to even be having this conversation (about the playoffs). That's an important part of the character of the team. Until it's final that we're out of the playoffs, I'm sure our guys are going to compete the same way."

Gordon said he thought the Flyers playing on back-to-back nights while the Maple Leafs were off Thursday affected the outcome Friday. Sunday, it will be Philadelphia coming off an idle day while Pittsburgh played an afternoon game Saturday.

--Field Level Media
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