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Preview: Penguins at Flyers

Philadelphia tries to end three-game losing streak; Pittsburgh's Mark Streit, Matt Cullen each game-time decision

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PENGUINS (43-16-9) at FLYERS (31-29-8)

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

 

Penguins team scope

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Streit said he hopes to play for the first time against the Philadelphia Flyers since he was traded March 1. The Flyers traded him to the Tampa Bay Lightning for center Valtteri Filppula and two draft picks; the Lightning traded him to the Penguins later that day for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Streit sustained a lower-body injury during the first period of a 4-3 shootout loss at the Calgary Flames on Monday. He had the injury examined at a hospital but said he felt good after the morning skate Wednesday. "I'll do [pregame] warmup and see how I feel," he said. "… I was surprised at how good it felt." Coach Mike Sullivan said Streit and center Matt Cullen each would be a game-time decision. Cullen has missed the previous three games because of a lower-body injury. "I feel pretty good," Cullen said. "… Anytime you're out you feel a responsibility to get back as quick as you can. You always try to push it as much as you can, especially this time of year." The winter storm that blanketed most of the Northeast meant the Penguins didn't arrive in Philadelphia until about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday. They made it a team effort to get all the equipment into the visiting locker room, with players carrying multiple gear bags and pushing rolling cases. "Kind of a unique deal … kind of unique circumstances," Cullen said. "But [it was] a short flight and we can get into our normal routine now."

 

Flyers team scope

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost three straight games in regulation and are seven points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, but they believe the Penguins are the right opponent at the right time for them. "Generally they bring out the best in us," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "It's probably what we need right about now. Should be a fun game." The power-play units were changed at the morning skate, with defenseman Ivan Provorov moving to the left point on the first unit and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere shifting to the right side. Forward Jakub Voracek, who's usually in that spot, moved to the right side of the second unit. The Flyers went 1-for-8 on the power play during their 5-3 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. "Eight power plays, scored only one goal, doesn't matter what we did or didn't do, we didn't score," Voracek said. "You can move it around well, you can have a lot of shots on the net, but if you don't score, if you don't make a difference in the game, that's the bottom line." Left wing Jordan Weal is out because of a lower-body injury. He'll be replaced by Dale Weise, who has been scratched for the past six games and 13 times in the past 22. "Mentally it wears on you when you're in and out [of the lineup]," he said. "Every time I come back in I have a positive attitude. I mentally reset and try to go from there." Weise had an NHL career-best 14 goals in 71 games last season with the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks but has two in 50 games this season. "I'm just focused on coming back in tonight and having a positive impact," Weise said. "Try to come in and do what I do, be physical, shoot pucks, eventually one will go in and build off that."

 

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson -- Nick Bonino -- Carter Rowney

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Oskar Sundqvist

Justin Schultz -- Ian Cole

Mark Streit -- Chad Ruhwedel

Brian Dumoulin -- Ron Hainsey

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched:Cameron Gaunce, Josh Archibald

Injured:Carl Hagelin (lower body), Trevor Daley (knee), Patric Hornqvist (concussion), Kris Letang (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Bryan Rust (upper body)

Suspended:Tom Sestito

 

Flyers projected lineup

Brayden Schenn -- Claude Giroux -- Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny -- Valtteri Filppula -- Jakub Voracek

Dale Weise -- Sean Couturier -- Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Roman Lyubimov

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Nick Schultz -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Michael Del Zotto -- Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched:Nick Cousins

Injured:Jordan Weal (lower body), Brandon Manning (upper body), Michael Raffl (lower body)

 

Status report

Hornqvist skated for the first time since he was injured March 5. "It was non-contact today so we'll see how he responds and then the next step is contact and then at that point he'll be a game-time decision," Sullivan said. "We're encouraged that he's on the ice and making significant progress." Sullivan said Letang also is making progress. He's been out since Feb. 21. "He is feeling better," Sullivan said. "The next step will be getting him on the ice and see how that goes. We've been encouraged with the last few days and we'll see where it goes for there. But he's making progress." … Manning took part in the morning skate but will miss his second straight game. "I feel pretty good," Manning said. "When you go out there to play you need to be able to protect yourself and be able to compete and battle. I'm just not quite there yet."

 

Who's hot

Sheary has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past five games. Guentzel has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past 11 games. Malkin has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 14 games since returning from an injury. Crosby has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past six games. … Konecny has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past four games. Giroux has four points (one goal, three assists) during a four-game point streak.

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