The intrastate rivalry between the Philadelphia Flyers
and Pittsburgh Penguins
resumes on Sunday at Wells Fargo Center in the City of Brotherly Love.
One thing is certain, the teams won't be in a good mood as the push for prime position in the Eastern Conference playoff race continues. The Penguins have been surging of late and the return of their captain, Sidney Crosby
, and defenseman Kris Letang
has certainly provided an added impetus for the stretch run.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are finally reaping the benefits of their big nine-year, $51 million investment in goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
. The 31-year-old goalie recently established a franchise record shutout streak of 249:43, breaking the former mark of 227:40 set by John Vanbiesbrouck
from Oct. 17-27, 1999.
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The game also features two of the League's top point-producers in Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin
(39 goals, 85 points) and Philadelphia's Claude Giroux
(26 goals, 82 points), who rank No. 1 and 3, respectively, in the NHL scoring race. Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos
is second with 84 points.
Here's a capsule look at the season series to date:
Dec. 8 at Philadelphia | Flyers 3, Penguins 2 | Game recap
, Wayne Simmonds
and Scott Hartnell
each scored to lift the first-place Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Crosby-less Penguins. James Neal
and Evgeni Malkin
connected for Pittsburgh, but by that time Philadelphia had already built a 3-0 lead one night after they rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Buffalo Sabres
made 25 saves for the Flyers and Marc-Andre Fleury
stopped 26 shots for the Penguins.
Dec. 29 at Pittsburgh | Flyers 4, Penguins 2 | Game recap
The game marked the return of Philadelphia's Jaromir Jagr
and Maxime Talbot
to Pittsburgh, and the duo certainly gave the hometown faithful something to remember. Jagr, who became an NHL star with the Penguins two decades ago, scored a goal and Talbot, who helped Pittsburgh to the 2009 Stanley Cup title, added an empty-netter in the final seconds to seal the win for the visiting Flyers.
The teams combined for just 14 minutes in penalties -- none in the second period. Sergei Bobrovsky
earned the victory on 24 saves and Fleury stopped 19 shots.
Feb. 18 at Philadelphia | Penguins 6, Flyers 4 | Game recap
scored the go-ahead goal 37 seconds into the third period and Matt Cooke
scored a pair of goals to give the Penguins their first triumph of the season against their intra-state rival. Jordan Staal
, Pascal Dupuis
and Neal also scored goals for the Penguins, who not only denied the Flyers on a 5-on-4 and a 5-on-3 on the same power play, but scored twice shorthanded to turn the game around after Jagr's two goals against his former team gave the Flyers a 2-1 edge.
The loss was the sixth for Philadelphia in eight games and Bryzgalov was pulled in favor of Bobrovsky after allowing three goals on 13 shots. When Bobrovsky replaced Bryzgalov at 16:57 of the second, the Flyers' prized free-agent signee skated off the ice to a chorus of boos. Fleury made 27 saves.
"We can be better in a lot of different areas and (goaltending) is one of them," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette
said after the game.
March 18 at Philadelphia | Flyers 3, Penguins 2 (OT) | Game recap
The Penguins took a 2-0 lead into the third period and were dominating the Flyers, including out-shooting them 10-2 in the second period.
"We didn't play well in the second period," said Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen
. "We were standing still, we didn't skate, turned the puck over. … We talked after the second period, we've got a power play coming up, hopefully we can score and get on a role and that's what happened."
Timonen's power-play goal 31 seconds into the third turned the momentum, and then Scott Hartnell
scored from the side of the net at 4:47 of the third to tie the game.
Then with 0.9 seconds left in overtime, Hartnell one-timed a Danny Briere
pass past Marc-Andre Fleury
for the game-winning goal.
The win snapped the Penguins' 11-game win streak and denied them a chance to catch the Rangers atop the conference standings.
| Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
| Philadelphia at Pittsburgh