Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (45-23-11, 101 points, 3rd place Metropolitan Division) @ Philadelphia Flyers (24-43-11, 59 points, 8th place Metropolitan Division)
When: 4:00 p.m. Eastern
How to Watch: TNT
Opponent Track: The Flyers only recently halted a six-game skid of regulation losses with a 6-3 triumph over the Canadiens on Thursday. With three wins in their last 14 games, the injured Flyers have slid to 29th in the NHL and are one of just four teams (alongside Seattle, Montreal and Arizona) who have yet to clear 60 points.
Pens Path Ahead: This is the last road game of the regular season. Next week, the Penguins will finish out the campaign at PPG Paints Arena against the Edmonton Oilers (Tuesday) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (Friday.)
Season Series: This is the fourth meeting between the Penguins and Flyers this season. The Penguins have claimed victory in all three so far, with two overtime wins at home (3-2, November 4 and 5-4, February 15) and one blowout win on the road (6-2, January 6.)
Hidden Stat: Philadelphia’s Zack MacEwen ranks ninth in the NHL with 108 penalty minutes. The Penguins, whose PIM leader is Kris Letang (49), have no player ranked in the top 50.
Trivia Question: After the captain’s goal Saturday, who is the only active NHL player with more 30-goal seasons (16) than Crosby (9)?
SBN Counterpart Blog: Broad Street Hockey
—The Flyers are injured, and far out of playoff contention, and icing a lot of young players and prospects. To get an idea of how they’ve been playing lately, check out the summary of Philadelphia’s 6-3 win in Montreal on Thursday, via Broad Street Hockey:
Despite what the score might suggest, this wasn’t exactly a very fun game. Maybe part of it is just fatigue from being at this point in the season, but this is also just kind of what you get in a late season meeting between two of the three worst teams in the league. The teams pretty evenly traded chances—the Flyers won the 5-on-5 shot share 27-26—but the really dangerous chances were relatively fewer and farther between. This game was a little messy, but that’s to be expected as the Flyers continue to move deeper into “barely icing an NHL team” territory.
Saturday Practice Lines
Scott Laughton - Kevin Hayes - Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk - Joel Farabee - Bobby Brink
Noah Cates - Morgan Frost - Owen Tippett
Oskar Lindblom - Nate Thompson - Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov / Ronnie Attard
Linus Hogberg / Travis Sanheim
Keith Yandle / Yegor Zamula
Goalies: Martin Jones, Felix Sandstrom
Scratches (all injuries): Kevin Connauton, Nick Seeler, Patrick Brown, Cam York, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cam Atkinson, Carter Hart
IR: Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, Morin Samuel
—The Flyers’ power play is at 12% on the season. That’s the worst success rate in the NHL. Over their last 10 games, they have converted on a dismal 3.2% of opportunities.
Power play units:— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) April 23, 2022
PP1: Konecny (netfront), Hayes (slot), Brink (left), Farabee (right), Sanheim (point)
PP2: JvR (netfront), Laughton (slot), Frost (left), Tippett (right), Provorov (point)
—The Flyers are struggling through the trail end of a rough season, but that’s not to say they don’t have talent. Flashes of brilliance from the team’s recently-debuted rookies, as well as offensive strength from its veterans like Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk, are things to look out for.
Advanced stats matchup
—It would be a clean sweep for the Pens, if not for the dreadful finishing. Philadelphia is in the bottom half of the league in every metric, and often the bottom quarter. Tough times on the eastern side of the commonwealth.
And now for the Pens..
Saturday Game Lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Brock McGinn - Teddy Blueger - Evan Rodrigues
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Mike Matheson / Chad Ruhwedel
Marcus Pettersson / John Marino
Goalies: Louis Domingue, Casey DeSmith started yesterday
Scratches: Mark Friedman, Tristan Jarry (week-to-week), Nathan Beaulieu (LTIR)
—On Penguins time management during a back-to-back weekend:
Every skater in Pens' lineup played 10:30+ today, which is key when you have back-to-backs.— Bob Grove (@bobgrove91) April 23, 2022
—Head coach Mike Sullivan hinted earlier this week we might see Louis Domingue in the crease during this back-to-back weekend. If so, it would be Domingue’s first NHL appearance since his January 15 Penguins debut, when he made 40 saves in a sparkling 2-1 win over the Sharks in San Jose.
Milestone and streak watch
- Pittsburgh hit the 100-point mark for the season on Saturday, making them the only team to clear the plateau 10 times in the Crosby/Malkin era.
- Chad Ruhwedel has now scored three times in a season for the first time in his 10-year NHL career.
DeSmith: "This guy's one more closer to Ovi..."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 23, 2022
*walks over to Chad Ruhwedel with the Bold Penguin helmet*
- Kris Letang marked his 67th point of the season yesterday. One more point will make this the most productive season of his prolific career.
- Sidney Crosby is, for the 10th time in his NHL career, a 30-goal scorer.
Sidney Crosby has now hit the 30-goal mark for the 10th time in his career.— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 23, 2022
He joins Mario Lemieux (11) and Jaromir Jagr (10) as the only players in franchise history to have 10 or more 30-goal campaigns with the team.
Trivia Answer: Who else could lead the NHL in 30-goal seasons but perennial rival and legendary goalscorer Alex Ovechkin?