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Battle of PA - Round 4

Well well well.  It's that time again.  It's time for another installment of the Battle of PA.

Round 4 comes to us live from the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia.  

Last time these two teams met Philly wiped the Pens out 8-2 with both Umberger and Lupul registering hat tricks on the night.  This was also the first game Conklin saw action in following Sabourin's pull.  His third period performance allotted three goals on 15 shots.

Needless to say, the Flyers walked away with the edge, and even their staff writers are taking it to heart.

"The bad news is that the Flyers lost another game to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night in convincing fashion. The good news, though, is that the Pittsburgh Penguins visit to the Wachovia Center on Thursday will provide the opportunity for the club to quickly move on from the lopsided loss and enter the All-Star break on a good note..."

Flyers' Website

That's the most interesting part about the Pens right now, who since Crosby's injury have a posted a 1-1-1 record - everyone thinks it's going to be an easy run.  Sure, Tampa walked all over the Pens the night Sid went down, but Montreal hardly had a chance.  Washington barely skimped out with the win and frankly the Pens have some unfinished business with the Flyers.

Let's take a look at some changes since the last time these two met.

Joffrey Lupul
Joffrey Lupul won't be seen on the ice or anywhere near it thanks to his own teammate Derian Hatcher.  If you didn't see the video, here it is.

That's why Lupul has been out for the month, and probably another 2-3 weeks on top of that.

Ben Eager
Who?  Exactly.  The guy who drew the elbowing call from Laraque, and then proceeded to get his pads handed to him via Gary Roberts' fists.  

Eager was later rumored to have seen Michel Therrien outside the locker room and proceeded to call him "a joke."  Eager has since been traded to Chicago, where he has still yet to score a goal (and only has one assist on the season).  Who's the real joke?

Gary Roberts
Broken leg.  You know this.  Although his return, initially considered to be indefinite, has since been rescheduled for 2-3 weeks.  Just in time for Round 5...

There may also be a few unsettled fights between these guys too.  After all, not every player on the Pens is hurt (although some days it may seem like it).  Here are some fight predictions you may want to keep a look out for.

Ryan Malone vs Jason Smith
They've fought one another in two consecutive match-ups.  I wouldn't be surprised if they thrown down again.

Georges Laraque vs Steve Downie
They've never matched up before, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.  Downie has gained the leaguewide reputation as a bully and cheap shot extraordinaire.  Laraque won't have any of that.

Ruutu vs ?
I'm convinced he's going to fight someone.  It's just a matter of who.  Perhaps Pensburgh's own Dunman would have a better idea.

The Open Thread will kick off again prior to the puck drop.  In case you don't have Center Ice, FSN or whatever station the Flyers broadcast on, then be sure to check out Yahoo! sports.  They'll have a live link up for this game tonight.

Again, if you're new to the Pensburgh community feel free to join us for the thread.  No username is required, but we'd love to have you join up.

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