Philadelphia Flyers (8-9-6: 22pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (12-10-3: 27pts)
at PPG Paints Arena | Pittsburgh, PA
TIME: 7:00 p.m. | TV: NBCSP | RADIO: 93.3 WMMR
presented by The Rothman Institute at Jefferson Hospital
Season Series (2016-17): 2-2-0
All-Time Record: 281gp (153-90-38)
PHI: 29-PTS, Voracek (7g-22a)
PIT: 31-PTS, Kessel (11g-20a)
1. THE RIVALRY CONTINUES
This is the first of four meetings between the clubs… Last year the team's split the season series with two wins apiece, but the Flyers won the last two meetings of the year, outscoring the Pens, 10-2, in the process… Shayne Gostisbehere and Claude Giroux led the team with five points each (2g-3a), while Jake Voracek had four goals in the season series… Patric Hornqvist led Pittsburgh with four points (1g-3a) in three games… The Flyers also continue to have an impressive mark in the Pens new arena, going 1-0-0 last season which drove their overall record to 12-3-1.
2. GOING THE EXTRA MILE
The Flyers enter tonight's game looking to snap a seven-game winless skid, their most since the 2007-08 season - despite the skid, the Flyers have earned points in seven of their last 10 and in four of their last five games… After playing their first 11 games with just one overtime/shootout decision, the Flyers have played past regulation six times in their last 12 games… Both the Flyers and Penguins are tied for the fourth-most games decided past regulation so far this season (7).
3. PENGUIN POWER
The Pens come into tonight's game after they snapped a three-game losing skid in their 5-2 win over Tampa on Saturday… They are looking for back-to-back regulation wins for just the second time all season and first since the opening week of play (Oct. 7 & 11)… They also have a home record of 7-2-1 this season with six of the 10 games decided by one goal… The Penguins power play is among the best in the NHL, ranking second overall at 26.6 percent, and scoring six of their last 10 goals on the man advantage.
4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
THIS: Pens forward Evgeni Malkin has missed the last three games (upper-body injury), the Pens are 1-2-0 without him in the lineup this season… Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald has missed the last 15 games (lower-body injury), the Flyers are 3-6-6 without him this season… THAT: Pens goaltender Matt Murray has appeared in 20 of the club's 25 games this season and has 52 wins in his first 82 career games played in the NHL, which already is 8th in Pens history… THE OTHER: Last season the Flyers-Penguins played in the NHL's Stadium Series at Heinz Field, home of the NFL's Steelers - Next season, the Stadium Series will resume with the Flyers hosting the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Eagles, on Feb. 23, 2019.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH:
FLYERS (RW: #93 - Jakub Voracek)
Voracek continues to pace the Flyers with 29 points in 23 games, which also ranks seventh in the NHL… He is currently riding a five-game point streak where he has posted eight points (3g-5a) and multiple points in four of the five games… Voracek is also a Penguin killer - he has the most points per-game against the Pens than any other team in his career (1.06) with 34 points (17g-17a) in 32 meetings, but his numbers at Pittsburgh are what's impressive, recording 21 points (10g-11a) in 13 games for an average of 1.62 PPG.
PENGUINS (RW: #81 - Phil Kessel)
Kessel comes in as the hottest Penguin, recording seven points during a three-game point streak (3g-4a)… He also has seven goals in his last nine games… He leads the team in both goals (11) and overall points (31) in 25 games so far and has over half of his points on the power play, recording 17 points (3g-14a) on the man advantage… Last year against the Flyers, Kessel was held to just two assists in the four games.