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Flyers blank Penguins in final game before All-Star break

Mike Defabo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

PHILADELPHIA -- In the coming days, Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry will make the trek to St. Louis to play in his first-ever All-Star Game.

It's a well-deserved honor. Over the first 50 games of the season, Jarry became one of the NHL's unlikely leaders in save percentage and goals-against average. Along the way, his emergence was one of the major reasons the Penguins did more than just survive with Sidney Crosby sidelined. They thrived.

But during Pittsburgh's 3-0 loss at Wells Fargo Center, even an All-Star-caliber effort would not have been enough to help Pittsburgh steal a win against an in-state rival during the last game before the break.

Jarry faced several odd-man rushes and five high-danger scoring chances in the first period alone. He made 27 saves on 29 attempts, several of them stellar. However, a pair of second-period goals and an empty-netter sent the Penguins to the break with a loss.

At the same time, the Penguins' offense did little to take pressure off their goaltender, as Flyers goalie Brian Elliott was forced to make just 19 saves for the shutout.

The Flyers -- who entered the night in sixth place in a competitive Metropolitan Division -- got chances early and often. The best of the bunch in the first period came from Joel Farabee. He split the Penguins defense and raced in on a breakaway. But his shot sailed high over the crossbar.

 

Philadelphia also had a pair of odd-man rushes in the period that Jarry snuffed out to help the Penguins go to intermission with the game still scoreless.

Early in the second period, the tests kept coming for Jarry. Sean Couturier had a beautiful attempt in the slot. But Jarry stirred the attempt wide with the knob of his stick. However, Philadelphia eventually took a 1-0 lead with 14:34 left in the second. Couturier skillfully knifed a pass through the Penguins defense to find Jakub Voracek. He beat Jarry on the backhand.

With just over six minutes left in the second, the Penguins' defense turned the puck over in front of the net. It created a point-blank attempt for Voraceck. Jarry was up to the task to turn the shot away.

But in the closing minutes of the second period, the Flyers took a 2-0 lead. James Van Riemsdyk received a pass in the slot from Travis Konecny and beat Jarry five-hole from point-blank range. Jarry had little chance.

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