Flyers vs. Penguins: Pittsburgh sweeps season series in dominant fashion

Flyers swept and dominated by Penguins in season series originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

John Tortorella, back behind the bench, saw his Flyers open up a four-game road trip with a 4-2 loss Sunday night to the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Nicolas Deslauriers and Travis Konecny provided goals for the Flyers (29-34-13), who never held a lead against the Penguins this season.

As the Flyers emptied their net, they crept to within 3-2 on Konecny's tally with just under two and a half minutes remaining. But Pittsburgh found the empty net with 1:12 minutes left to finish off the game.

The Flyers were swept by the Penguins (38-29-10) in the three-game regular-season series (0-3-0) and outscored 13-4.

With the victory, Pittsburgh moved into the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot.

Tortorella's club has lost three straight games and has six left in the 2022-23 campaign. It dropped to 2-11-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets.

The Flyers are 12-17-8 on the road and haven't won away from home since Feb. 20.

• The scoring troubles reared their head. The Flyers were held to under three goals for the first time since March 11, which is when they last played the Penguins and lost, 5-1.

On Sunday night, the Flyers' power play, which entered 31st in the NHL (16.1 percent), went 0 for 5.

Kevin Hayes has gone 22 consecutive games without a goal. He has six assists over that span. His minutes have gone down as Tortorella has relied on some younger pieces higher up in the lineup and in more situations, particularly late in games.

Hayes played 14:10 minutes Sunday night and James van Riemsdyk, who had an assist, played only 9:29 minutes.

Morgan Frost, who came in with four goals and an assist over the past three games, assisted Konecny's marker.

But the Flyers didn't find the back of the net until 5:57 minutes into the third period.

• Samuel Ersson was in the Flyers' net for the first time since the 7-0 blowout to the Devils during late February.

The 23-year-old faced 30 shots from Pittsburgh and turned away 27 of them.

Rickard Rakell put the Flyers in a 2-0 at first intermission.

The winger opened the game's scoring on a powerful shot and two funky bounces. The blast nailed the back boards, fluttered over the net and then bounced off of Ersson's back and across the goal line.

A little over three minutes later, Rakell cushioned the Penguins' lead with a deflection on the power play.

Sidney Crosby assisted Bryan Rust's marker, which sent the Flyers into second intermission with a three-goal deficit.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had two assists apiece on the night.

Without Carter Hart (lower body) the last four games, the Flyers are 1-2-1 and have surrendered 4.25 goals per game.

Pittsburgh netminder Casey DeSmith was very good, denying 31 of the Flyers' 33 shots.

He kept the game 2-0 with a first-period glove stop on Konecny and a second-period save on a quick trigger from Owen Tippett in the slot.

The Flyers finally cracked DeSmith in third period when they were trailing 3-0. Tony DeAngelo found Deslauriers streaking to the net.

DeSmith had 11 saves in the final stanza.

• Rasmus Ristolainen missed the game with an upper-body injury. The defenseman is considered day to day.

As a result, the Flyers went back to the traditional look of 12 forwards and six defensemen, with winger Kieffer Bellows entering the lineup.

• The road trip continues Tuesday when the Flyers visit the Blues (8 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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