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Ken Hitchcock must feel his Philadelphia Flyers should be able to get over this mental block.
Two days after their 12-game unbeaten streak was snapped, the Flyers try to defeat the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time in three tries this season.
Philadelphia was unbeaten in November (10-0-2), but opened this month with a 4-1 loss at Ottawa on Monday.
The Senators knocked the Flyers out of the playoffs each of the last two seasons. Philadelphia has won only four of the last 22 regular-season meetings (4-12-6) with the Senators.
"I think there are some psychological issues that need to get dealt with," Hitchcock said. "Whether we've got to draw them out or whatever, I think those are real and they've got to get dealt with.
"If we want to be a championship team, we cannot pretend that the psychological issues are going to be hidden. ... They are preventing people from performing at their best."
Beating the Penguins should not be as difficult, though the Flyers haven't been able to do it in two attempts this season. Both games resulted in ties -- 3-3 on Oct. 11 and 1-1 last Wednesday.
Pittsburgh, however, is 0-6-1 in its last seven visits to Philadephia and has won only once in its last 21 trips there (1-19-1).
Plus, the Flyers remain the only unbeaten team at home this season, having gone 10-0-2 at the Wachovia Center.
Philadelphia is clinging to a slim lead over New Jersey in the Atlantic Division despite having the most points in the NHL with 34, twice as many as the last-place Penguins.
Pittsburgh got more bad news Tuesday, learning Mario Lemieux will be unavailable for the team's five-game road trip that begins Wednesday. Lemieux, who did not accept a $5 million raise on Monday, has missed 13 games since injuring his hip Nov. 1 against Boston.
General manager Craig Patrick said the team is no longer projecting when Lemieux might return because previous estimates were wrong.
"We've tried that 14 times already," Patrick said.
Pittsburgh has won only three times since Lemieux got hurt (3-8-1-1), but is coming off a 4-3 victory over Atlanta on Monday.