Philadelphia Flyers (13-16-1--27pts)
Pittsburgh Penguins (24-8-0--48pts)
TV: NBC-SN - RADIO: 93.3 WMMR
1. BACK AT IT
After having a five-day break in the schedule of games, the Flyers return to action with five games in the next eight days with tonight's game being the only road contest of the group… The Penguins have only had two games in their last seven days with tonight opening up a five-game homestand… This is the fourth and final meeting of the year between the Flyers & Penguins with the Pens owning a 2-1-0 record so far, earning a 5-4 win in their last meeting on Mar. 7… In the three previous games, the teams have averaged a total of eight goals, recording 24 goals in the season series.
2. HOPING HISTORY REPEATS
The Flyers will attempt to put an end to the Penguins 11-game winning streak… The Penguins have not lost in the month of March and have now had at least a 10-game win streak in three consecutive seasons… The team to end the streaks in each of the last two years? The Philadelphia Flyers… Last year, the Flyers were the ones to put an end to their 11-game winning streak (on Mar. 18) and going back two years ago, the Flyers put an end to the Pens' 12-game win streak (on Dec. 14)… Both wins came by a score of 3-2.
3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
The Flyers own a 6-1-0 record at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh since it's opening in 2010… The Penguins have won eight straight games on home ice… The Penguins enter tonight’s game having allowed just eight goals over the previous seven games… During the Pens 11-game win streak, they have had seven of the 11 wins come by a one-goal margin… Paul Martin leads the Penguins in the season series with five points (1g-4a), while Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers with five points, all of them goals, in three games against the Penguins… The Flyers have scored 10 goals in the first minute of regulation periods this season… The Flyers have killed off 17 of their last 18 penalties.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux - (C) #28
The Flyers captain has points in three of his last four games, with two goals and an assist… He has scored in all three games against the Penguins this season, recording a goal and three assists, while also owning a nine-game point streak against Pittsburgh where he has posted 13 points (3g-10a) over the last two years… Giroux's last scoreless game against the Penguins came two years ago to the day - March 24, 2011.
5. Player to watch PENGUINS: Sidney Crosby - (C) #87
Crosby leads the NHL in points (52) and assists (39), while ranking second in plus-minus (+23), only to teammate Chris Kunitz (+24)… He has a three-game point streak, posting a goal and four assists, while recording 21 points during the team's 11-game win streak in the month of March, including seven multiple-point games… Against the Flyers, Crosby had three assists in the last meeting, but was held to one point in the previous two… Overall, Crosby has 70 points (27g-43a) in 42 career games against the Flyers.
"Just beating Pittsburgh, I think that's good enough motivation."
Last 10: Philadelphia 4-6-0; Pittsburgh 10-0-0
Season series: This is the fourth and final meeting. The Penguins have taken two of the past three from the Flyers.
Big story: Pittsburgh will be attempting to extend its win streak to 12 against cross-state rival Philadelphia. Not only do the Flyers hope to spoil the Pens’ streak, but desperately need the win as the aim to remain in the race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Flyers: Well rested, the Flyers are looking for revenge after the Penguins came back from a three-goal deficit to beat them 5-4 on March 7. Philadelphia has not played since Monday’s 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette let it be known that he wasn’t happy about the break.
“Obviously, you would rather be playing games and trying to make a difference in the standings, but there’s nothing we can do about that,” Laviolette said.
In any other season, a five-day break at this point in the season would be welcome. However, the Flyers seem anxious to get back to action and attempt to right their ship.
Also of note, the Flyers have history on their side, ending the Pens’ 11-game streak last March and their 12-game streak back in 2010-11.
Penguins: Pittsburgh is fresh off of another come-from-behind win, as it earned a 4-2 victory against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday. The Islanders recorded the first 12 shots of the game, but the Pens stayed the course and grabbed their first lead of the night early in the third period on a goal from Brandon Sutter.
“We’re just finding ways to win right now,” Sutter said. “I think we want to keep playing the way we are. We don’t really want to change much. Obviously, we think we can still get better at certain things. I think if we keep that mindset, hopefully we can keep doing well.”
Who’s hot: Flyers forward Max Talbot has three goals in his past five games. … Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will most likely get the nod to start Sunday’s game, when he will look to extend his six-game win streak.
Injury report: The Flyers will be without forwards Tye McGinn (orbital bone) and Jody Shelley (hip). … Pittsburgh could get a boost with the return of stars Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and Kris Letang (lower body). Both participated in Friday’s morning skate on Long Island, but neither played. They will be game-time decisions Sunday.
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