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Penguins hope return home is enough to end slide

by Wes Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- Coming off consecutive road losses, the Pittsburgh Penguins will attempt to regain their consistency when they face the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS).

Pittsburgh will play its first home game since its 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 1. The Penguins won in Columbus the following night before losing 5-1 at the New York Rangers and 2-1 at the St. Louis Blues.

After 11 days away from Pittsburgh, the Penguins expect to feed off of their home crowd.

"It's always nice playing in front of our fans," forward Pascal Dupuis said. "It's something we value. We play our best on this ice and we expect the best out of each other, especially playing an opponent like Philly.

"The fans are going to be fired up."

The Penguins are 7-2-0 at Consol Energy Center this season, but have struggled at home against Philadelphia recently; the Flyers are 6-2-0 in their past eight regular-season games in Pittsburgh.

"Our record here at home is pretty outstanding," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "But against the Flyers there's a lot to be desired. So I can make no rhyme or reason. I know we're on our way to changing that [Wednesday]."

Philadelphia did not hold a morning skate Wednesday after its 5-0 win at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored his first goal of the season in Philadelphia's 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and followed that with two assists Wednesday against the Senators.

The Flyers enter Wednesday 6-10-1, but the Penguins expect them to play as they have over the past four days.

"I think playing against them brings the best out of us," Sidney Crosby said. "I think playing against us brings the best out of them as well. We need to find a way to win a game here.

"I don't think the records really change anything, so I would expect their best game."

The Penguins likely will be without defenseman Paul Martin for the second consecutive game. Martin skated alone prior to Pittsburgh's morning skate Wednesday.

Here are the expected lineups for the Penguins and Flyers:


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis

Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal

Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Matt D'Agostini

Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang

Brooks Orpik - Deryk Engelland

Matt Niskanen - Robert Bortuzzo

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Injured: Paul Martin (lower body), Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Rob Scuderi (ankle), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)

Scratched: Jayson Megna


Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Steve Downie

Zac Rinaldo - Adam Hall - Jay Rosehill

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit

Luke Schenn - Erik Gustafsson

Ray Emery

Steve Mason

Injured: Michael Raffl (illness)

Scratched: Tye McGinn, Hal Gill, Andrej Meszaros

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