Who: Philadelphia Flyers (11-10-2, 24 points, 5th place Metropolitan Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (11-10-1, 23 points, 7th place Metropolitan Division)
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: SportsNet Pittsburgh for the home team, NBC Sports Philadelphia for the visitors, streaming on ESPN+
Pens’ Path Ahead: Next up for the Penguins is a deja vu-inducing set of games against the Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The rematches take place on the road on Monday and Wednesday before the Pens visit the Florida Panthers on Friday.
Opponent Track: After losing in overtime to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, the Flyers have dropped four of their last five. The team’s last regulation win was almost two weeks ago on November 19.
Season Series: After this upcoming home-and-home set, the Penguins won’t see their erstwhile rivals again until January 8 in Philadelphia.
Hidden Stat: Sidney Crosby needs just three more assists to lead all Flyers opponents with the most career helpers against Philadelphia. His 71 career assists against the orange and black currently trail only Mario Lemieux, Bryan Trottier and Jaromir Jagr, who each have 73, for the most in history.
Getting to know the Flyers
Lines from Thursday’s game
Tyson Foerster - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Joel Farabee - Scott Laughton - Cam Atkinson
Owen Tippett - Morgan Frost - Bobby Brink
Nic Deslauriers - Ryan Poehling - Garnet Hathaway
Cam York / Travis Sanheim
Nick Seeler / Sean Walker
Egor Zamula / Rasmus Ristolainen
Goalies: Carter Hart, Samuel Ersson
Possible scratches: Noah Cates, Marc Staal, Louis Belpedio
IR: Ryan Ellis
- Garnet Hathaway was ejected from the Flyers’ Thursday loss to the Devils after this hit on Luke Hughes.
Luke Hughes went to the locker room after this hit from Garnet Hathaway pic.twitter.com/F5XYAvxjqK— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) December 1, 2023
John Tortorella wasn’t happy with the game misconduct.
John Tortorella’s thoughts on the state of hitting in today's game, after Garnet Hathaway’s hit against the Devils last night:— Dylan H. Robillard (@DylanRobillard_) December 1, 2023
“NHL is almost becoming a “no-hit league.”#LetsGoFlyers pic.twitter.com/O8Jvb7YVoO
- That wasn’t all Tortorella wasn’t happy about on Thursday as he kept forward Joel Farabee to just two shifts and 56 seconds in the entire loss. Flyers fans got a classic Tortorella postgame quote on the subject:
“Are you asking me why I sat Joel? Because he didn’t listen.”
When pressed further:
“None of your business. Come on, guys.”
Tortorella is quick to bench players he isn’t happy with. Owen Tippett spent a chunk of the Flyers’ loss to the New York Rangers last week glued after losing coverage of his man during a Rangers rush.
Farabee’s benching similarly came after he was exposed on a goal against during his second shift of the game:
Like Tippett, Farabee is likely to be back out there in the next game. But given Tortorella’s track record, don’t be surprised if the Flyers start shuffling lines mid-game due to an unofficial benching.
- The Flyers are one of 11 NHL teams averaging fewer than three goals per game. That’s part of the reason Thursday’s game against the Devils marked the second time this season the Flyers have lost despite Carter Hart making at least 30 saves.
- Look out, Pens. The Flyers, already one of the top five most penalized teams in the NHL, were preparing for some potential fights during the team’s Friday practice:
Nicolas Deslauriers showing Louie Belpedio and Joel Farabee some grapplin’ techniques. pic.twitter.com/AEDZgGtbtu— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) December 1, 2023
And now for the Penguins
Infographic courtesy of Pens PR
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith - Evgeni Malkin - Drew O’Connor
Jansen Harkins - Lars Eller - Radim Zohorna
Matt Nieto - Noel Acciari - Jeff Carter
Ryan Graves / Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson / Erik Karlsson
Ryan Shea / John Ludvig
Goalies: Tristan Jarry and Alex Nedeljkovic
Potential scratches: Vinnie Hinostroza, Dmitri Samorukov
IR: P.O. Joseph (lower body injury), Rickard Rakell (upper body injury), Chad Ruhwedel (lower body injury)
- The Penguins were off yesterday and will return to the ice for a morning skate at PPG Paints Arena today, per Pens Inside Scoop. During that morning skate, keep an eye out for P.O. Joseph, who participated in practice in a regular jersey prior to the Pens’ win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, per Josh Getzoff.
- Due to the Pens’ and Flyers’ too-close-for comfort proximity in the division standings, MoneyPuck classifies this as a “pretty important game” for the Penguins’ playoff changes.
- The team will enter Friday’s game riding high on Jarry’s historic goalie goal Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
From Mike Sullivan, per Pens Inside Scoop:
“There are moments during the course of the year that I think help to galvanize a group. (Jarry’s goal) could be one of them.”
“We’re trying to build a team here. We’ve got a lot of new guys on the team this year, and we’re trying to come together as a group as quickly as we can. Those types of moments, sometimes they help.”