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Penguins vs. Flyers, Game 21: Lines, Notes & How to Watch

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, Philadelphia Flyers

Two streaking teams will meet when the Pittsburgh Penguins face Philadelphia this evening at 5:38 at the Wells Fargo.

The catch is, they’re moving in opposite directions.

The Penguins have won a season-best four games in a row, while the Flyers are 0-5-3 in their past eight.

Philadelphia’s plunge toward the bottom of the Metropolitan Division came in the wake of a surprising 7-3-2 start that inspired talk in some hockey circles of the Flyers making a serious run at a playoff berth.

There hasn’t been much of that lately.

A lot of the discussion among Flyers partisans seems to focus on whether GM Chuck Fletcher, once an assistant to Ray Shero with the Penguins, should be fired and escorted out of the building immediately or given an opportunity to clean out his office before he departs.

The one thing on which members of the fan base seem to agree is that Fletcher has to be replaced.

Whether his bosses agree — and, if so, when they would act on their belief — is not clear.

First-year coach John Tortorella, who made many fans among Penguins followers during his days behind the bench in New York and Columbus (OK, maybe not), has spoken of the need to change the Flyers’ culture, and perhaps that will happen eventually.

The same is true of the end of their losing streak, although it’s tough to predict when that will be.

There was a time when the Penguins were virtually guaranteed of leaving Philadelphia with nothing more than some fresh bruises and a humbling defeat, but they’ve fared quite well there since Sidney Crosby arrived in 2005.

He has 120 points in 80 career games against the Flyers — more than any Philadelphia opponent except Mario Lemieux (124) — and is tied with Lemieux for the most goals against them (51) of anyone in league history.

The torrent of vulgar chants the crowd directs at Crosby anytime the Penguins visit the Wells Fargo Center clearly affects him about as much as anything the Flyers do against him, defensively. Which is to say, not a whole lot.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines

Guentzel — Crosby — Rakell

Zucker — Malkin — Rust

McGinn — Carter — Heinen

Poehling — Blueger — Archibald

Defense

Pettersson — Letang

Joseph — Petry

Dumoulin — Rutta

Goalies

DeSmith

Jarry

Expected Philadelphia Flyers Lines, per Lineups.com

Farabee — Frost — Tippett

N. Cates — Hayes — MacEwen

J. Cates — Brown — Laczynski

Deslauriers — Sedlak — Bellows

Defense

Provorov — DeAngelo

Sanheim — Ristlainen

Seeler — Braun

Goalies

Hart

Sandstrom

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

Crosby’s 120 points against the Flyers are the most of any active player, and he’s not going to be overtaken anytime soon, if ever. Evgeni Malkin is second on that list, with 82.

Kris Letang has 47 points, including two game-winning goals last season, in 80 career appearances against the Flyers. He’s also a plus-30 versus Philadelphia, a mark bettered only by Bobby Orr (+37) and Jaromir Jagr (+31).

The Penguins’ penalty-kill, a glaring weakness during the early weeks of the season, has allowed one goal in 18 shorthanded situations during the past six games.

Crosby has played between Jake Guentzel and Rickard Rakell in eight games, during which the Penguins are 7-0-1. Not coincidentally, members of that line have combined for 13 goals and 19 assists in those games.

The Flyers have a long injury list that includes Cam Atkinson, James van Riemsdyk, Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny, among others.

Philadelphia has given up the first goal in 14 of its 20 games, going 5-6-3 when that happens.

Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov needs one point for 200 in the NHL.

This will be the Penguins’ only game in Philadelphia this season. They will play the Flyers twice at PPG Paints Arena.

How to Watch

TV: TNT, Sportsnet (Canada)

Radio: 105.9 the X

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Pete
Pete
2 days ago

Will Hex be in the box? Im sure flyers fans will have sweet things to say to him!

Chris R
Chris R
2 days ago

In any organization, culture changes start from the top down, starting with ownership then management.

daniel
daniel
2 days ago

Provorov at 200 points already? not bad

Alan Smith
2 days ago

Think the Pens will be like Philly in three years? Not right now though! Still one of the best watches in the NHL! Four lines, improved defense and quality goalies! Let’s hope they can remain without injuries! Secondary scoring and defense contributing as well!

Marty
Marty
2 days ago

Crosby passing Lemieux vs Flyers is a meaningless record. The two teams were in different divisions for much of Lemieux’s career.