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game preview

Flyers at Penguins preview

Pittsburgh eyes seventh win in nine games; Philadelphia could be without forward Giroux

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (34-29-8) at PENGUINS (39-24-9)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will look for their seventh win in nine games when they face the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

The Penguins are 6-2-0 in their past eight games after a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday ended a three-game winning streak. They're third in the Metropolitan Division, four points behind the Washington Capitals and two behind the New York Islanders.

Pittsburgh is two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, three ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and 11 ahead of Philadelphia.

The Flyers, who have lost two straight after winning six of their previous eight (6-1-1), could play without forward Claude Giroux because of an illness, coach Scott Gordon said. Giroux has played 256 straight games.

Philadelphia is eight points behind Columbus, which holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

 

Players to watch

Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk has 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in his past 10 games.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in his past 11 games and 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in his past 18.

 

They said it

"It's been really impressive what [the Penguins have] been able to do with losing [defenseman Kris Letang and forward Bryan Rust]. ... They could've taken a hit. They didn't." -- Flyers coach Scott Gordon

"I think we understand what we need to do. It's about us and the way we need to play. ... I think you just go out there with the intention of playing our game." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

 

Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Nolan Patrick -- Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk -- Scott Laughton -- Michael Raffl

Phil Varone -- Corban Knight -- Ryan Hartman

Ivan Provorov -- Travis Sanheim

Shayne Gostisbehere -- Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg -- Radko Gudas

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Cam Talbot, Andrew MacDonald, Samuel Morin, Justin Bailey

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body)

 

Penguins projected lineup

Jared McCann -- Sidney Crosby -- Jake Guentzel

Teddy Blueger -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Dominik Simon -- Nick Bjugstad -- Patric Hornqvist

Joseph Blandisi -- Matt Cullen -- Garrett Wilson

Brian Dumoulin -- Zach Trotman

Jack Johnson -- Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson -- Erik Gudbranson

Matt Murray

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Juuso Riikola

Injured: Olli Maatta (upper body), Chad Ruhwedel (upper body), Zach Aston-Reese (lower body), Kris Letang (upper body), Bryan Rust (lower body)

 

Status report

Hartman is expected to return after missing one game with an illness. ... Letang and Rust could play after taking full contact for the first time in practice Friday. Letang will be out for an 11th straight game; Rust, who has been out for nine in a row, will be a gametime decision, per Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

 

Stat pack

Couturier has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past seven games, and 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in his past 22. ... Kessel will tie Craig Adams for the most consecutive games played in Penguins history (319).

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