Up next: Mike Richards, Chris Pronger and the Philadelphia Flyers

[SBN Flyers blog - Broad Street Hockey]

Record: 37-31-6 (7th in the East)

Scorers: Jeff Carter (injured, 33g, 27a), Mike Richards (28g, 30a), Chris Pronger (10g, 42a)

It's been a long week of rivalries for the Penguins up until this point but it's not over yet.  Up next we have the Philadelphia Flyers, a team still battling for playoff position in light of missing their top scorer and what would appear to be a formidable goaltender.  Which is why we may very well see rookie Johan Backlund get a shot at stalling the Pens Saturday, according to Broad Street Hockey.   I'm sure Philly fans are hoping this stands as their version of 2009 Semyon Varlamov, but when you toss a guy with zero NHL experience between the pipes anything can happen.  For good or bad.

The Flyers are currently on a four-game skid, losing to Atlanta in back-to-back games before getting shutout by Ottawa Tuesday night and salvaging a point in and overtime loss to the Wild on Thursday.  Seeing as how the playoffs are not a guarantee at this time, Philly will likely have to pick up a 'W' in four or five of the remaining eight games if they hope to play past the first week of April.  Pittsburgh today, Detroit tomorrow and New Jersey next week easily stand as the biggest obstacles in Philly's run.

For those keeping score at home, the Flyers are on the shorter side of the season series with a record of 1-3-1.  Today officially marks the last meeting of the season, barring any additional games in the postseason.  Pittsburgh and New Jersey remain neck and neck for the lead in the Atlantic, so you know the Pens want these two points just as bad as Philly does.  Seeing as how rooting for Montreal doesn't harm the Pens in any way, I suggest we all cheer on the bleu, blanc et rouge tonight.

Keep in mind this is a 1pm start today too.  It always seems like the Pens play a lackadaisical game during these matinees, but they've managed at least a point in all three of the previous 1pm starts this season and hold an overall record of 1-0-2.  So take that however you'd like.

Puck and thread: 1pm.

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