FIVE THINGS: Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Flyers open up crucial home-and-home series against rival Penguins

Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 7:00 AM philadelphiaflyers.com

Philadelphia Flyers (33-25-7--73pts)

vs

Pittsburgh Penguins (44-17-4-92pts)

TIME: 1 p.m. TV: CSN RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic

1. THE RIVALRY

The Flyers open up a home-and-home series against Penguins on back-to-back days this weekend… Today is the third of five meetings on the year against the Penguins and second and final time on home ice for the Flyers… The Flyers are 1-1-0 against Pittsburgh, dropping the first meeting at home, 4-1 on Oct. 17, and earning a 2-1 win at Pittsburgh on Nov. 13… The Flyers have dropped their last three meetings at home and have been out-scored by the Penguins, 12-6… At Pittsburgh however, the Flyers own a 7-2-0 mark over the last four seasons since the opening of the Pens new building, the CONSOL Energy Center… Today is the 267th all-time meeting against the Penguins with the Flyers owning a 143-85-30-8 record against Pittsburgh, including an overall mark of 92-29-8-4 mark in 133 games in Philadelphia.

2. PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE

Both teams come into today's game with a full three-day break in game action, having last played on Tuesday… For the Flyers it was their last break of 2 or more days in between games with 17 games in 30 days, and 14 of their remaining 17 against teams that currently hold a playoff spot… The Penguins have only one instance in which they have two days in between games from now until the end of the season (Apr. 10-11) but also have 17 games in 30 days… The Flyers have dropped two straight games, but have won eight of their last 12 games, going 8-3-1… They have also won five of their last seven games at home, going 5-2-0… The Penguins come into today riding a three-game winning streak, but have not scored more than three goals in their last six games.

3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

The Flyers own a 6-3-2 record in starts of 3 pm or earlier, while the Penguins have a 4-1-0 in five day games thus far… The Penguins come into today's game as the No. 1 ranked power-play AND No. 1 ranked penalty kill in the NHL… On the man-advantage, the Penguins have gone 5-for-17 (29.4%) in their last five games and operate at 25.3%, scoring 55 goals on 217 opportunities, while killing off 87.1% of times shorthanded, allowing 26 goals on 201 attempts and killing off 19 of their last 20… The Flyers enter their 12th set of games on back-to-back days - they own an overall record of 12-10-0, including a 5-6-0 record in the first game and 7-4-0 mark in the second game… The Pens have an overall record of 17-6-1 in back-to-backs - posting an 8-3-1 mark in the first meeting and 9-3-0 record in the second game.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux (C: 28)

The Flyers captain has points in four of his last five games, recording eight points (4g-4a) in that stretch, and has also recorded at least a point in eight of his last 10 games with seven goals and eight points in that span… Giroux is tied for the NHL lead among all players (with Sidney Crosby) since Dec. 11 in scoring with 45 points (18g-27a) in 35 games, which has included 14 multi-point games… He continues to lead the Flyers in total points (65), goals (23) and assists (42), while leading the forwards in time-on-ice per game (20:37)… Against the Penguins, Giroux has… nine goals and 21 points in 25 career games.

5. Player to watch PENGUINS: Sidney Crosby (C: 87)

Crosby comes in as the NHL's leader in points (88), 15 more than the next closest player (Kessel & Getzlaf - 73) and assists (57) to go along with 26 multi-point games out of 65 games this season … Crosby has points in each of his last three games with two goals and five points in that span… He is second among all forwards in the NHL in time-on-ice, averaging over 22 minutes per-game (22:02)… Crosby also has recorded at least a point in 23 of 25 Metropolitan division games, including a 15-game point streak in which he has 27 points (11g-16a) for an average of 1.8 points per game… Against the Flyers, Crosby has 30 goals and 74 points in 45 career games.

QUOTABLE

"Pittsburgh's the most-hated team we've been playing against the last few years, so it being a 1 o'clock game, I'm going to get myself right back into it quick."

- Zac Rinaldo

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