Game 33: Flyers Vs. Penguins Preview
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins have clearly been on a roll lately and they’ll look to extend their winning streak to 12 games Sunday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
On Friday, the Penguins erased two, one-goal deficits against the New York Islanders en route to a 4-2 win.
Brandon Sutter’s goal early in the third period proved to be the difference. Pascal Dupuis added a last-second empty net goal, while Chris Kunitz and Joe Vitale also scored for the Pens.
Tomas Vokoun kept the Penguins in the game early and often, making 33 saves in the win. He also picked up an assist on Dupuis’ empty net goal.
While everything seems to be going right for the Penguins, the exact opposite could be said for their cross-state rivals.
The Flyers enter today’s game in last place in the Atlantic Division and are 13th in the Eastern Conference. However, they are only five points out of a playoff spot.
Philadelphia should be fresh tonight because they have not played a game since Monday, when they lost 4-2 to the Lightning.
In the month of March, Philadelphia is 3-5 and are 4-6-0 over their last 10.
Jakub Voracek continues to lead the team in goals (13) and points (31). Claude Giroux is second on the team with 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists).
In goal, Ilya Bryzgalov (13-13-1, 2.79 GAA, .898 save percentage) has struggled to find consistency in this shortened season. In eight starts this month, Bryzgalov has allowed three or more goals five times.
Against the Penguins, Bryzgalov is 5-2-1 with a 2.68 GAA and .909 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, Crosby added two assists to his league-leading point total in Friday’s win over the Islanders. Crosby’s 52 points (13 goals, 39 assists) are now 11 points better than Kunitz in the NHL scoring race.
Kunitz (19 goals, 22 assists) is all alone in second place in the NHL with a one-point lead over Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos.
Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang continue to work toward getting back in the lineup. There was some speculation and hope that Malkin would return against the Islanders, but that did not happen. Their status for tonight’s game is not yet known.
UPDATE 11:50 A.M. - After the team’s morning skate, head coach Dan Bylsma said that both Malkin and Letang would not be in the lineup tonight. However, Tyler Kennedy would play after missing Friday’s game with an illness.
Bylsma also said the Penguins are preparing to take on a very hungry and dangerous Flyers team tonight.
Marc-Andre Fleury (16-5-0, 2.38 GAA, .912 save percentage) was given the night off against the Islanders, so he will likely be back in tonight.
Against the Flyers, Fleury is 22-13-1 with a 2.85 GAA and .901 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and you can watch it on Root Sports or the NBC Sports Network.
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