Game 18 Preview: Flyers Vs. Penguins
Buy Penguins Tickets
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to get back in the win column tonight as they welcome cross-state rival Philadelphia to town.
Pittsburgh enters the game having lost their last two contests. Most recently, the Penguins fell 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
While it was a better showing than their 5-1 loss to the Rangers, the Penguins mustered just 20 shots on net in the game. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak was barely tested and the lone goal came off a pretty passing play, which resulted in a tap in for Jussi Jokinen.
The Penguins were without Paul Martin in the game and could be without him again tonight.
However, the Penguins welcomed back James Neal and Beau Bennett to the lineup, which should help to solidify the second and third lines going forward.
As for the Flyers, it’s been a rough start to the season.
Entering tonight’s game, the Flyers (6-10-1) are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the basement of the Metropolitan Division.
They have been playing better hockey recently and drubbed the Ottawa Senators 5-0 Tuesday night.
Claude Giroux (one goal, nine assists) finally scored his first goal of the season in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. He is tied for the team lead in points with Vincent Lecavalier (seven goals, three assists) and Brayden Schenn (four goals, six assists).
In goal, Steve Mason has been the workhorse early on this season.
In 13 games, Mason has a 5-7-1 record with a 2.15 GA and .930 save percentage. Mason stopped 22 shots last night against the Senators for his first shutout of the season.
With Mason playing last night, it would seem likely that Ray Emery (1-3-0, 3.24 GAA, .879 save percentage) would get the start in Pittsburgh tonight.
Against the Penguins, Emery is 4-4-2 with a 2.95 GAA and .885 save percentage.
The Penguins currently sit atop the Metropolitan Division with a one-point cushion over the Washington Capitals.
Sidney Crosby is tied with Steven Stamkos for the league lead in points (23). However, Stamkos suffered a broken leg after crashing into the net on Monday in Boston. He was scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday.
Crosby has tortured the Flyers in his career. In 44 career games, Crosby has 29 goals and 44 assists against the Flyers.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (10-4-0, 2.07 GAA, .921 save percentage) will look to continue his strong start to the season.
Against the Flyers, Fleury is 24-13-1 with a 2.76 GAA and .903 save percentage.
This will be the second meeting between the clubs this season. Pittsburgh won the first meeting 4-1 in Philadelphia on Oct. 17.
The puck is set to drop at 8 p.m. and you can watch it on the NBC Sports Network.
You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice