Who: Philadelphia Flyers (29-33-13, 71 points, 7th place Metropolitan Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (37-29-10, 84 points, 5th place Metropolitan Division)
When: 6:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, NBC Sports Philly over on the other side, Sportsnet in Canada, ESPN+
Opponent Track: Pro athletes have too much on the line for their own purposes to tank a season, and suddenly Philadelphia has been good lately (which might hurt the team’s drafting chances in the long run). The Flyers fell last night 6-3 at home to Buffalo, which marked only their first regulation loss since March 14th to Vegas, going 5-0-2 in the seven games prior to that.
Pens Path Ahead: It’s April, which means there isn’t that much runway left in the regular season. The Pens head out to New Jersey for a game on Tuesday night, are back home on Thursday to host the Minnesota Wild and then next Saturday are over in Detroit as the games tick down.
Season Series: Pittsburgh is looking to get a season sweep of their rivals, albeit in a short three-game set this year. The Pens beat the Flyers 5-1 in the last meeting between the two on March 11th. The Pens took an early-season wins in Philadelphia on November 25th (4-1)
Getting to know the Flyers
Check out our dear friends (seriously!) in their new digs: Broad Street Hockey
Potential Game Lines
Joel Farabee - Morgan Frost - Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton - Noah Cates - Owen Tippett
James van Riemsdyk - Kevin Hayes - Wade Allison
Nic Deslauriers - Brendan Lemieux
Ivan Provorov / Cam York
Travis Sanheim / Rasmus Ristolainen
Nick Seeler / Tony DeAngelo
Goalies: Sam Ersson (Felix Sandstrom played yesterday)
Scratches: Kiefer Bellows, Tanner Laczynski, Carter Hart (injured)
IR: Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson
—the last two games, head coach John Tortorella hasn’t even been behind the bench to take in the game from the top with new interim GM Danny Briere and let assistants get experience running the show. Odd, but that’s Torts for ya.
—Unsurprisingly with only a handful of games left, the Flyers have officially shut down Couturier who will miss all of this season, but ideally be coming back for them to start next year.
(Note: does not include last night’s game)
—It’ll be interesting to see how much turnover the Flyers have as they more fully, if reluctantly, embrace a rebuild. York is getting there, and they have a few pieces who aren’t exactly young by NHL standards (Konecny, Farabee, Tippett), let alone in the couple years it will take to add in new talent.
And now for the Pens...
Saturday Game Lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen - Ryan Poehling - Mikael Granlund
Drew O’Connor - Jeff Carter - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
P.O. Joseph / Jeff Petry
Mark Friedman / Chad Ruhwedel
Goalies: Casey DeSmith or Tristan Jarry
Scratches: Alex Nylander, Jan Rutta (injured)
IR: Dmitry Kulikov (week-to-week, lower-body injury), Nick Bonino (week-to-week, lacerated kidney), Marcus Pettersson (lower body)
—With Jarry playing yesterday, you would assume that means DeSmith today but who knows. This game is practically a must win for the Pens, and as such they might be inclined to ride their starter.
—The Pens will celebrate Kris Letang for appearing in his 1000th career game today! Letang becomes the third player in franchise history to play games 1-1000 all with Pittsburgh, with the other two of course being Crosby and Malkin.
Tomorrow’s agenda: Celebrating #1Kris— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 1, 2023
The Penguins will honor @Letang_58 prior to his 1,000th career game in a special pre-game ceremony tomorrow.
Details: https://t.co/pigAvfMHDo pic.twitter.com/Rh1PatwIRM