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Penguins Game 39 vs. Flyers: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Philadelphia Flyers

Arguably the Pittsburgh Penguins’ longest and nastiest rivalry resumes Monday when they play the Flyers in Pittsburgh.

There have been seasons in recent years when the Flyers weren’t overly competitive, rendering the rivalry a bit dull, but these days the Penguins (19-15-4) are looking up at Philadelphia (20-13-6) in the Metropolitan Division. What’s more, the Flyers swept a home-and-home in early December, 4-3 in a shootout and 2-1 in overtime.

With a regulation win, the Penguins can move to within two points of Philadelphia with a game in hand.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 7 p.m.

Penguins Preview

When they dropped the two games to the Flyers, it was the start of a four-game losing streak. Now the Penguins seem to have found some consistency, their 3-1 loss Saturday against Buffalo notwithstanding.

Before that game, they were on an 8-2-1 surge.

However, a loss Monday would be two in three games, and the Penguins can ill afford to backslide into a poor or even mediocre stretch. This division game is important as the Penguins strive to get into a playoff position.

Later in the Buffalo loss, coach Mike Sullivan flipped right wingers Reilly Smith and Drew O’Connor, moving Smith down to the third line and O’Connor up to the second line. It’s not clear if that was just an experiment or something that might stick for at least a while.

Read more:

Molinari: What Has Karlsson Given Penguins So Far? Can He Do More?

Kingerski: Inside the Penguins: The Struggle for Young Players to Stick

The Flyers seem to be responding to John Tortorella and his coaching style. They have had stretches of 5-0-0 and 7-0-1.

Most recently, they beat Calgary 3-2 Saturday to end a three-game slide (0-1-2). They had a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal in the comeback win, perhaps a boost for the last-place power play.

Forward Morgan Frost had a goal and an assist in the win against Calgary, a game after Tortorella made Frost a healthy scratch to send a message.

Expected Penguins Lines

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell

Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust

Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Valtteri Puustinen

Jansen Harkins-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter


Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang

P.O Joseph-Erik Karlsson

Ryan Graves-Chad Ruhwedel


Alex Nedeljkovic

Tristan Jarry

Expected Flyers Lines

Joel Farabee-Sean Courturier-Travis Konecny

Owen Tippett-Morgan Frost-Bobby Brink

Tyson Foerster-Ryan Poehling-Cam Atkinson

Nicolas Deslauriers-Scott Laughton-Garnet Hathaway


Cam York-Travis Sanheim

Nick Seeter-Sean Walker

Egor Zamula-Rasmus Ristolainen


Carter Hart

Samuel Ersson

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.6%, 26th

Penguins penalty kill: 83.1%, 8th

Flyers power play: 10.2%, 32nd

Flyers penalty kill: 86.3%, 2nd

Penguins Game Notes

After getting a point in each of the losses earlier this season, the Penguins are 3-0-2 in their past five games against the Flyers, 9-3-3 in their past 15. They are 3-1-1 in their past five games at Wells Fargo Center.

Sidney Crosby, in 85 career games against the Flyers, has the most goals (54) and points (125) against them in NHL history. He has 12 goals, 11 assists over his past 16 games in the rivalry.

Jake Guentzel has 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 28 games against Philadelphia.

Kris Letang has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in his past 11 games against the Flyers, and his plus-minus of plus-36 against them is second-best among defensemen in NHL history behind Bobby Orr, plus-37.

Crosby’s next goal will be his 573rd, tying him with Mike Bossy for 22nd all-time.

The Penguins have 11 power-play goals over their past 12 games, with a 22.4% success rate in that stretch.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also visit sister site Philly Hockey Now