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Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins 3/17/2019: lines, preview, how to watch

It’s a Saint Patrick’s day hockey night in Pittsburgh!

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Philadelphia Flyers (34-29-8; 76 points, 6th place in Metropolitan Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins(39-24-9; 87 points, 3rd place in Metropolitan Division)

When: 7:30 p.m. Eastern time

How to Watch: Nationally televised game on NBC Sports Net

Opponent Track: The Flyers are good at losing and they’ve lost 2 straight games, first Washington beat ‘em up real good 5-2 and then Philly blew a 5-2 lead in spectacular fashion to fall 7-6 to Toronto. And that will about do it for any false hope to make the playoffs.

Pens Refresh: After a 7-1-2 run the Pens were terrible in a Saturday afternoon game against the Blues

Season Series: Philly took the first game on December 1st 4-2. Pittsburgh won the second contest 4-1. Philly took the outdoor game in OT 4-3 on February 23rd. And today will be the last game of the season

Player stats at a glance

via hockeydb

-The goalies are just a comedy of errors and too funny to look at.

-The top three usual suspects in Giroux, Voracek and Couturier are having good years. Behind that, not too many else are.

SBN Team Counterpart: Broad Street Hockey

Big story: 16,000

It’s a big day in Flyer history!

Years without a playoff win will also increase this year to going-on eight years. Most sites have Philly’s playoff chances now between 1 and 2%.

Who’s hot

—Well, a lot of players individually, believe it or not. Nine players (Giroux, JvR, Voracek, Couturier, Konecny, Sanheim, Patrick, Laughton, Gostisbehere) have at least six points in the last 10 games.

—Voracek has 12 points (4g+8a) in his last six games, and coming off a recent suspension

—van Riemsdyk recorded a hat trick last game against a former team Toronto

Possible lines

Oskar Lindbolm - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk - Nolan Patrick - Claude Giroux

Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Travis Konecny

Phil Varone - Corban Knight - Ryan Hartman

Ivan Provorov / Travis Sanheim

Shayne Gostisbehere / Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg / Radko Gudas

And now for the Penguins...

Check the game notes, eh bud?

Infographic courtesy of the Penguins

Possible Lines

Jared McCann - Sidney Crosby - Jake Guentzel

Teddy Blueger -Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Dominik Simon - Nick Bjugstad - Patric Hornqvist

Joseph Blandisi - Matt Cullen- Garrett Wilson

Jack Johnson / Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson / Erik Gudbranson

Brian Dumoulin / ?

Expected scratches: Juuso Riikola (healthy), Chad Ruhwedel (upper body injury), Bryan Rust (lower body injury), Zach Aston-Reese (hip)

Injured Reserve: Olli Maatta (upper body

-Will the ? be Zach Trotman. Or Kris Letang? Possibly you? Find out soon!

Eye on the Standings

—The Pens loss yesterday didn’t really hurt them (aside from being a missed opportunity) being as Washington lost 6-3 to Tampa and NYI fell 2-1 to the lowly Red Wings.

—With Montreal slumping out of the picture the playoff teams are looking to take shape. To avoid a wild card spot, Pittsburgh needs to stay ahead of Carolina who is now right on their heels two points back but have a game in hand and would have the tiebreaker in ROW, should the Canes win their game in hand.

—Pittsburgh and Carolina plays on Tuesday in what will be the latest “biggest game of the season”.

Key to the game

Pens power play vs Flyers PK

Pittsburgh boasts the league’s third best power play. Philly’s PK is just 26th in the league. Though the Pens’ power play is only 20.0% on home ice (compared to a lethal 33.3% on the road), so they’ll need to buck that today. Scoring goals from the power play will be a key way to win this one.