Flyers (34-21-11, 79 PTS) vs Penguins (38-25-4, 80 PTS)
Previous Meeting: PIT 5 @ PHI 1
The Flyers return home after a disappointing Florida road trip where they picked up only one point in the Sunshine state. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as they’ll host two of the Eastern Conference elite this week, first up are those pesky Penguins from Pittsburgh. The Pens come into Philly with back-to-back wins in their pockets, both coming via overtime. With the proximity of these two teams in the Metropolitan standings, this game could loom huge by the time the regular season comes to an end.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
PUCK DROP: 8:00 P.M.
LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)
Philadelphia: (Flyers Line Combinations)
Wayne Simmonds is expected to return for the Orange and Black tonight, and this will be a welcome addition back to the ice. Oskar Lindblom is slated to stay with the big club, and expect Nolan Patrick to resume his role on the second power play unit with Simmonds healthy once again.
Giroux – Couturier – Konecny
Lindblom – Patrick – Voracek
Weal – Filppula – Simmonds
Lehtera – Laughton – Raffl
Provorov – Gostisbehere
Hagg – MacDonald
Manning – Gudas
Pittsburgh: (Penguins Line Combinations)
Guentzel – Crosby – Hornqvist
Hagelin – Malkin – Rust
Simon – Brassard – Kessel
Kuhnhackl – Sheahan – Sheary
Dumolin – Letang
Maata – Ruhwedel
Oleksiak – Schultz
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
Tonight’s goalie matchup will feature Petr Mrazek for the Flyers and Tristan Jarry for Pittsburgh, as Michael Murray is currently sidelined with a concussion. This will be Mrazek’s seventh straight start for Philadelphia, and he holds a 3-2-1 record with a 2.93 GAA and a .895 SV% since being acquired before the trade deadline. Jarry has faced the Flyers twice this season, winning both matchups while posting a 3.00 GAA and a .889 SV%.
Wayne Simmonds will be returning for the Flyers tonight, and he couldn’t be coming back at a better time. His presence in front of the net will be a welcome sight for his teammates, and a nightmare for opposing goaltenders. Nolan Patrick did an admirable job filling in for #17 during his absence on PP1, now it’s time for the rookie to lead the second unit to more success down the stretch run.
With just how close the playoff race is in the Metropolitan division, expect both teams to attempt to get the two points in regulation. With a win, the Flyers would be tied for first with the Capitals with 81 points. Tonight is rivalry night after all, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this game features a playoff like pace and emotional factor.