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Penguins aim to rebound against Flyers

by Sean McCullen

FLYERS (6-10-1) at PENGUINS (11-6-0)


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

Season series: The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 at Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 17 in the first of five games between the Pennsylvania teams. The Penguins and Flyers won't play each other again until a home-and-home set March 15 and 16.

Big story: The Penguins and Flyers are at opposite ends of the Metropolitan Division standings. Look no farther than the "goals for" column to figure which team is at the top and which is at the bottom. The Penguins have been scoring; the Flyers haven't. Pittsburgh has 50 goals in 17 games (2.88 per game, 10th in the NHL); the Flyers have scored 31 times in 17 games (1.82, 29th).

The Penguins have been finding the net despite Evgeni Malkin's inability to finish. He has three goals in 17 games.

The Flyers have not picked up the slack for their captain, Claude Giroux, who scored his first goal of the season Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. They have started to show signs of life, though, breaking through for nine goals in their past two games.

Team Scope:

Flyers: Philadelphia beat the Ottawa Senators 5-0 on Tuesday. It was the team's second straight win and Steve Mason's first shutout with the Flyers. Mason finished with 24 saves.

"The way we're playing, we're playing as a team, we're following the way we should be playing and we're working hard," Giroux said. "Obviously, when you've got Steve Mason behind us, too, it's easy to play with confidence."

Penguins: Pittsburgh has lost two in a row after a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Their 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers last Wednesday ended a four-game winning streak.

The Penguins are not looking past their cross-state rival despite the Flyers' struggles.

"We always expect their best. They were struggling a little bit before we played them the last time, and I didn't really see much of a difference in their team," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said Tuesday. "They create a lot, and we definitely have to be ready. I think that they always play well here, so we have to be ready to make sure that we're at our best."

Who's hot: Jakub Voracek scored twice for the Flyers in Ottawa. He has three points the past two games. … Malkin has points in four straight games (five assists) for Pittsburgh.

Injury report: Flyers forward Michael Raffl (flu) missed the Ottawa game. Defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion) is out indefinitely. … Forward Chuck Kobasew (lower body) isn't expected back for the Penguins until late November. Forward Tanner Glass (lower body) should play after missing practice Tuesday, but defenseman Paul Martin (lower body) is doubtful after he missed the session. Goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) and defenseman Rob Scuderi (ankle) are on injured reserve.

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