Record: 20-19-3 (10th in the east)
Top scorers: Mike Richards (18g, 17a), Jeff Carter (14g, 21a) and Chris Pronger (5g, 23a)
About a week or two ago I received a tweet from Gus Katsaros, a writer for McKeen's Hockey. I can't remember exactly what brought up the topic of back-to-back games (I think it was one of the Devils games actually), but Gus was kind enough to shoot a link my way that showed the number of times teams go up against opponents who are playing on consecutive nights. I mention this here because the Flyers, despite having this scenario once against six different teams, do it three times against the Penguins. Tonight's game, in case you were wondering, is one of those three.
(And for the record, the Penguins play the Devils three times under the same back-to-back circumstances, which only further confirms the origin of the link exchange with Gus.)
So what does this mean exactly? Well, from a Penguins perspective, I guess it means they have some sort of advantage. Maybe. The last thing I want to do is give Philly fans an excuse to work with, but skating into the second half of a BtB against one of your biggest rivals can't be all that easy. Then again, I guess Pens fans are seeing that as well against the Devils (no, that wasn't an excuse).
As of late though, the Flyers hardly have anything to complain about. Last night the Flyboys lit up Toronto, skating out of Philly with a 6-2 win. Chris Pronger picked up three assists (all on the power play), Jeff Carter notched two helpers and Mike Richards tallied a goal of his own. The Philly PP went 3-for-6 on the night, en route to their first win since losing in OT to the Bruins at the Winter Classic. Since Peter Laviolette took over coaching duties on December 4, the Flyers have gone 7-8-2 and as of last night are officially over .500. All improvements since the Pens took both back-to-back games against the Flyers a little over three weeks ago.
Michael Leighton was in net for the Flyers last night, so it's hard to say whether we'll see him or not. Laviolette has been one to stick with the hot goaltender though, and if anything Leighton is playing a pretty solid game for Philly. If anything we'll know for sure as we edge closer to game time.
PS - Pens up 3-0 on the six-game regular season series. Figured we could all use the reminder.
Puck and thread at 7:30.