7:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Last Penguins Game:
February 17, 2013 - Pittsburgh 4, Buffalo 3 [Recap]
After a rare two day break the Penguins are back in action and what better way to get them back in action than to have the Philadelphia Flyers come to the CONSOL Energy Center for a game. Doesn't get much better than that. It will be a nationally televised game and Claude "the best player in the world" Giroux will be going against the average Sidney Crosby. That's how that works, right?
Not too much about this game though, really. Scott Hartnell will be out of the game as he has been on IR for some time with a bummed foot so that will take some of the luster out of the scoring attack but the Flyers busted out in a huge way with a 7-0 win over the Isladers a few days ago. Jakub Voracek and Matt Read pretty much lead the team as Voracek has a team-best 15 points while Read leads the team in goals. The Flyers as a team are only averaging about 2.5 goals per game so it has been difficult for them to score as they have 11 games this season where they have scored two or fewer goals. They have only played 17 games so that is not a good ratio of goal scoring to have.
For the Penguins Tomas Vokoun gets his first start in about a week and it was a pretty curious play coming off a two day rest. Marc Andre Fleury has been playing some pretty good hockey but he has been going pretty much every game so I guess it isn't all that bad that he is getting back in net. I just thought with Florida (his former team) coming up on Friday he would get that start and I can't imagine Fleury sitting for a week so that is why it caught me off guard. Whatever.
THe Penguins have been playing some pretty good hockey lately and in a shortened season every game against a division rival is that much bigger. The Penguins are sitting in a good spot but I don't think they want to give the Flyers any thought that they can get back into the division race. Right now the Penguins hold a game in hand on the Flyers and they are seven points ahead of them. To be able to push that number to nine and still hold a game advantage of them would be huge.
Penguins (11-5-0) (via Penguins website)
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Simon Despres - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland
Flyers (7-9-1) (via Empty Netters)
Matt Read - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Daniel Briere - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Mike Knuble
Harry Zolnierczyk - Ruslan Fedotenko - Zac Rinaldo
Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn
Braydon Coburn - Bruno Gervais
Nicklas Grossman - Erik Gustafsson
The Season Series (Penguins Lead 1-0-0)
January 19, 2013 - Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 1