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Penguins vs. Flyers, Game 65: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins Game, Lines, Philadelphia Flyers

The last time the Pittsburgh Penguins faced Philadelphia, they successfully protected a third-period lead and Marcus Pettersson earned a fighting major.

Which of those is the more rare occurrence might not immediately be clear.

In fairness, the Penguins actually have won 20 games this season when leading at the second intermission and that five-minute major Pettersson was assessed after surviving a bout with Flyers enforcer Nicolas Deslauriers at the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 25 was the sixth of only seven he has received in 356 NHL games, according to (Deslauriers, by way of comparison, has 68 in 571.)

While it seems unlikely that Pettersson will trade punches with Deslauriers when the Penguins face Philadelphia today at 3:08 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena, it’s entirely possible that the Penguins will again have the upper hand after two periods. After all, the Flyers have trailed at that point in 42 of their first 65 games.

But whether that hypothetical lead for the Penguins would remain intact by the end of regulation is reasonable fodder for debate, considering that they have lost a league-high nine games in which they were up after 40 minutes.

Five of those defeats have come in overtime or a shootout, including their 4-3 overtime defeat by the New York Islanders Thursday, when the Islanders overcame a third-period deficit when facing the Penguins for the third time since Feb. 17, with each of those games ending in a New York victory.

Fortunately for the Penguins, Philadelphia won’t be adding Anders Lee or Brock Nelson before gametime today, but there’s no guarantee the damage those two have done to the Penguins’ confidence in their ability to protect late-game leads this season won’t play a part in how the Flyers game plays out.

A veteran-heavy team like the Penguins seems as if it should be able to shake off the effects of such adversity, but a veteran-heavy team like the Penguins also doesn’t seem like one that should be having so much trouble holding on to late-game leads.

That the Penguins do should help the Flyers believe that they have at least a puncher’s chance to win today.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines











Expected Philadelphia Flyers Lines



van Riemsdyk-Desnoyers-Hayes








Special Teams

Penguins power play: 46 for 221, 20.8%, 18th in NHL

Penguins penalty-kill: 43 for 207, 79.2%, 17th in NHL (tie)

Flyers power play: 28 for 183, 15.3%, 32nd in NHL

Flyers penalty-kill: 46 for 184, 75%, 27th in NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins are 7-3-1 in their past 11 games overall against the Flyers and 6-1-1 versus Philadelphia in their past eight at PPG Paints Arena.

Rickard Rakell, the Penguins’ first-line right winger, has not scored a goal in his past 10 games. He had 21 in the first 54 this season.

Jason Zucker has recorded 25 of his 40 points at home.

Kris Letang’s plus-minus rating of plus-32 against the Flyers is the second-best ever among NHL defensemen, surpassed only by Bobby Orr (+37).

Sidney Crosby has scored at least one goal in six of his past seven games versus Philadelphia.

Evgeni Malkin has two or more points in seven of his past nine games at PPG Paints Arena.

It could be an epic special-teams showdown today. The Flyers have the least efficient power play in the NHL, while the Penguins have allowed at least one man-advantage goal in 15 of their past 22 games.

Philadelphia has lost 20 of 27 games decided by three or more goals and 10 of 11 that ended in overtime.

The Flyers are 17-1-2 when leading after two periods, despite being outscored, 77-59, in the third.

Philadelphia winger James van Riemsdyk has 13 goals in 51 career games against the Penguins.

Longtime NHL forward Daniel Briere is serving as the Flyers’ interim GM after Chuck Fletcher was fired Friday. Fletcher was an assistant GM with the Pittsburgh Penguins under Ray Shero before being hired as Minnesota’s GM in 2009.

How to Watch


Radio: 105.9 the X