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Fresh off rout, Flyers face off with Penguins

by Adam Kimelman

FLYERS (7-9-1) at PENGUINS (11-5-0)


Last 10: Philadelphia 5-4-1; Pittsburgh 8-2-0

Season series: This is the second of four games between the Pennsylvania rivals. On Jan. 19, in the season opener for both teams, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 of 27 shots in a 3-1 Pittsburgh win in Philadelphia.

Big story: The Flyers will look to finish their six-game road trip with a win, while the Penguins return from their own short road trip looking to push their win streak to four in a row.

Team Scope:

Flyers: Claude Giroux showed he is a leader in both word and deed Monday against the New York Islanders.

Two days after ripping his team for its listless effort in a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Giroux scored a pair of goals, including one 26 seconds into the game, leading a 7-0 rout of the New York Islanders.

"As a team, we weren't satisfied how we showed up every game and how we played," Giroux said in the Philadelphia Daily News. "It was unacceptable -- no intensity, no will to pay the price to win the game. Everyone today was paying the price to win. It's a lot more fun to play that way."

Penguins: With three straight wins, the Penguins took over the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings at the start of the week.

While most attention is focused on the offensive exploits of Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Evgeni Malkin, one of the biggest reasons for the Penguins' run up the standings is their play defensively.

The team has improved its goals-against average from 2.66 in 2011-12 to 2.38 this season, while still allowing just 27.4 shots per game. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury also has been better, with a 2.34 GAA and .914 save percentage, and he's allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his 11 starts this season.

Who's hot: Giroux has two goals and six points in his last four games. … The Penguins' top line of Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz has combined for five goals and 15 points in the previous three games.

Injury report: The Flyers are missing forwards Scott Hartnell (foot) and Jody Shelley (hip), defenseman Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) and goalie Michael Leighton (finger). … The Penguins are fully healthy.

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