The Philadelphia Flyers (20-13-6) are coming off a hard-nosed win versus the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Honoring Ed Snider, Travis Konecny scored the shorthanded game-winner, 3-2. It was the first win for the Flyers since December 28th in Vancouver.
Tonight, the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins (19-15-4) visit the Wells Fargo Center. The Penguins are 3-2-0 in their last five games and seventh in the NHL Metropolitan Division, four points behind Philadelphia, third in the division.
A Flyers victory takes the season series between the two bitter rivals.
Unlike Philadelphia, Pittsburgh is coming off a tough loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. A 3-1 loss stung because the Penguins played better than the score suggested. Two goals were overturned due to successful Sabres challenges. Rakell noted missed chances:
“We had our chances to get it done. They got a break at the end for the 2-1 lead, and not a great turnover by me to make it 3-1 to close out the game. We for sure had our chances tonight, we just have to be better.”Rickard Rakell; 1/6/2024
Jake Guentzel scored 29 points (12G, 17A) in 28 career regular-season games against the Flyers. Rakell is playing well lately. Over the last three games, Rakell tallied four points (2G, 2A). Philadelphia will have their hands full with the lineup.
Sidney Crosby is on the verge of moving up in the NHL career goal list. He has 572 career goals, one goal away from tying Mike Bossy (573; 22nd).
Here’s the tentative Pittsburgh Penguins lineup:
An impressive win on Saturday needs a follow-up performance. The Flyers penalty kill played a huge role in the victory. Konecny showed why he is a 2024 NHL All-Star because he was everywhere on the ice, especially on the ‘power kill.’ Over his last five games, Konecny piled up eight points (5G, 3A).
Sean Couturier broke through on the powerplay. He tied the game versus the Flames. Considering the struggles on the powerplay this season, getting one past Jacob Markstrom had a big impact on the game, shifting momentum.
Cam Atkinson and Morgan Frost returned to the lineup, making an impression. Frost got Philadelphia onto the scoreboard and recorded a later assist. Atkinson forechecked hard, excelling at a lot of the dirty work.
Frost stepped out of his shadow, engaging in a conversation with John Tortorella about his prior benching:
“[Friday] was really a good, honest conversation of what’s happening now and just kind of big-picture stuff. He’s the one who wanted the meeting. For me, I was thrilled that he came in and wanted to talk and gave me some of his thoughts, not agreeing.”John Tortorella; 1/6/2024
Here’s the tentative Philadelphia Flyers lineup, per Charlie O’Connor:
Place Your Bets (via DraftKings)
Philadelphia Flyers (+105)
Pittsburgh Penguins (-125)
Jake Guentzel anytime goal (+105)
Joel Farabee over .5pts (-115)
The Philadelphia Flyers will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7pm. The telecast can be seen on NBC Sports Philadelphia with the radio broadcast on 97.5 the Fanatic.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)