PHILADELPHIA (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will renew their rivalry tonight in the City of Brotherly Love.
There’s plenty that has and could be said about the state of the Flyers at this point of the season.
The Flyers enter tonight’s game with the worst record in the National Hockey League (1-6-0) and have only scored 10 goals this season.
While the New Jersey Devils have yet to win a game, they have three overtime/shootout losses, which places them one point ahead of the Flyers.
After failing to make the playoffs last year, management decided to let head coach Peter Laviolette return to start the 2013-14 campaign. However, Laviolette was fired just three games into the regular season and was replaced by Craig Berube.
Claude Giroux has a meager two assists through seven games as well.
The one positive thing the Flyers could take away from this horrid start to the season is that they have kept almost every game close. Their largest margin of defeat is three (Oct. 5, 4-1 loss to Montreal and Oct. 12, 5-2 loss to Detroit).
Philadelphia also has not been able to capitalize on the power play. Through seven games, the Flyers have had 29 power play opportunities, but only cashed in twice (6.9 percent). At home, the Flyers are just 1-for-18 with the man advantage.
The penalty kill hasn’t been much better either. So far this season, the Flyers have allowed seven goals on 34 shorthanded situations (79.4 percent). At home, the penalty kill success rate jumps up to 85.7 percent (two power play goals allowed on 14 chances).
Brayden Schenn leads the team with four points (two goals, two assists), while Tye McGinn leads the team with three goals.
In net, Steve Mason has pretty good numbers, despite his one-sided win-loss record. Entering tonight’s game, Mason is 1-4 with a 2.23 GAA and a ,926 save percentage.
Against the Penguins, Mason is 2-1-1 with a 3.21 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
As for the Penguins (5-1-0), they have won their last two games and hold a three-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes atop the Metropolitan Division.
Sidney Crosby is leading the way for the Penguins with 12 points (five goals, seven assists). For those keeping track, Crosby has two more points than the Flyers have goals and he’s played one less game.
Anyway, there’s a possibility that margin could grow tonight. In 43 games against the Flyers, Crosby has racked up 28 goals and 43 assists, with 10 goals and 18 assists on the power play.
One area of concern for the Penguins this season has been their penalty kill on the road. Granted it is a small sample size, but the Pens have allowed four power play goals on nine chances in their two road games so far. However, they have killed off all nine shorthanded opportunities at home.
Marc-Andre Fleury (5-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .926 save percentage) will likely be between the pipes tonight. If that’s the case, he’ll be looking to extend his personal winning streak to six.
In 42 games against the Flyers, Fleury is 23-13-1 with a 2.80 GAA and a .902 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.
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