Who: Philadelphia Flyers (11-4-3, 25 points, 3rd place Eastern Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (11-7-1, 23 points, 5th place in the Eastern Division)
When: 7:00 p.m. eastern
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, NBC Sports-Philadelphia across the way, and NBC Sports nationally outside of those viewing areas
Opponent Track: The Flyers didn’t play from Feb 8-17 due to COVID issues and are 3-1-1 since coming back to play, including winning three straight games. That includes two straight 3-0 wins over Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday.
Pens path ahead: Get used to the Flyers, who are in town tonight, Thursday and Saturday afternoon and then the Rangers come to town for games on Sunday and next Tuesday (3/9). Overall, the Pens play 12/16 games in March at home.
Season Series: The Flyers are up 2-0 on the Pens this year, beating Pittsburgh 6-3 on the opening game of the season on January 13th and then 5-2 two days later. After the three games this week, the Flyers come back to Pittsburgh on April 15, and the Pens go to Philly on May 3+4 to finish the regular season series.
Recent History: Well, 0-2 this year doesn’t look good, but the Pens are also 7-2-1 vs PHI in the last 10 games at PPG Paints Arena.
SBN Team Counterpart: Check out Broad Street Hockey for the latest news to know about the Flyers.
Player Stats at a Glance
—Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are setting up their share of goals, but not scoring them themselves with just four combined goals on the season.
—Former Ron Hextall draft pick Joel Farabee just turned 21 and is scoring a nearly a point/game pace in his first full NHL season. A couple of those picks in the future, eh Hexy?
James van Riemsdyk - Sean Couturier - Joel Farabee
Claude Giroux - Kevin Hayes - Nolan Patrick/Travis Konecny
Oscar Lindbolm - Scott Laughton - Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl - Patrick/Connor Bunnamann - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov / Shayne Gotisbehere
Travis Sanheim / Justin Braun
Robert Hagg / Phil Myers
Possible starting goalie: Carter Hart
Scratches: Erik Gustafsson
IR: Morgan Frost
—Travis Konecny practiced and is officially a “game time decision” for tonight, but seems to be inching closer to rejoining the team for a game. That will bump Nolan Patrick likely down to the fourth line.
The last week was really great for the Flyers, who have gotten stronger with reinforcements from the COVID list and piling up the wins. Charlie O’Connor had the following at The Athletic:
This time last week, the Philadelphia Flyers were licking their wounds after being blown out on national television at Lake Tahoe and were missing six key members of their club due to the COVID-19 protocol.
Now, they’re riding a three-game winning streak, and for the first time since Game 1 of the season, they have their full complement of players.
Funny how much difference a week can make.
The Flyers rolled through New York hockey last week, taking down the Rangers in a revenge game by a tight 4-3 score, then blowing out the reeling Buffalo Sabres by back-to-back 3-0 finals. The team is healthy, the process is improving, and the wins are starting to pile up. And with a three-game slate against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on the docket next, the question of whether the Flyers have truly figured things out is about to get a definitive answer.
Just days after the season seemed at its lowest point, the Flyers once again look like a team on the rise.
And for the first time since the opening game, Philly figures to be 100% healthy again. Must be nice, huh? Confidence is sky high, but hey, two wins over the Sabres. The Sabres. Hopefully the step up in competition will catch the Flyers in this one.
And now for the Pens..
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Kasperi Kapanen
Jared McCann - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev
Colton Sceviour - Sam Lafferty - Anthony Angello
Marcus Pettersson / Kris Letang
Mike Matheson / John Marino
P.O Joseph / Cody Ceci
Possible starting goalie: ?
Scratches: Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman, Mark Jankowski
IR: Juuso Riikola, Evan Rodrigues, Brian Dumoulin, Jason Zucker
Taxi Squad: Yannick Weber, Emil Larmi. Drew O’Connor, Josh Currie
Welcome back fans
It will be interesting to see what the arena atmosphere is like with 15% of fans now being able to attend games in Pittsburgh. The tarps across the first few rows will remain so it won’t likely be that different with just a few people in attendance as a viewing experience, but we shall see. Sounds crazy that it has almost been a full calendar year since the last “normal” type of game, but it has already.