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Inside Scoop: Pens-Flyers

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Penguins

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Penguins are in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, for a showdown against their cross-state rival the Philadelphia Flyers.

Here's what you need to know to get ready for Tuesday's action…

Roster notes

Defenseman Justin Schultz will not play against the Flyers. He will miss his 16th consecutive game with a lower-body injury. With the All-Star break and bye week following the game, Schultz will have nine extra days after Tuesday to heal.

"When we're making a decision for when a player returns from injury, we have the safety of the player as the priority, first and foremost," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think our medical staff does a real good job of advising the player and us on when that opportune time is, and based on where Justin's at we think (not playing tonight) is in the best interest of him and the team."

Forward Dominik Simon left in the second period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 comeback victory Sunday afternoon against Boston. He returned for the start of the third, but left shortly after for the rest of the game.

Simon practiced on Monday and is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday.

"I feel good," Simon said. "I feel way better. … I was worried because I tried to get back in the (Sunday's) game, but it was too painful. I'm really happy it got better quick, and I'm very excited I don't have to miss any (games). That's the worst for hockey players."

Goaltender Tristan Jarry will start in goal.

Keystone rivalry

The Penguins-Flyers rivalry dates back to when both teams entered the league in 1967, and hasn't lost any steam since. You can expect high energy, a lot of emotion and a lot of hatred coming from both sides.

"It's a lot of fun. You're walking into a hostile building and it amps up the game," defenseman Marcus Pettersson said. "It's got a lot of energy. It's fun games."

The Penguins bested the Flyers, 7-1, on Oct. 29 in Pittsburgh earlier this season. But Tuesday will be the first contest in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center.

"This rivalry has been around forever, so it's fun to be a part of," forward Zach Aston-Reese said. "Any time we play Philly it's going to be a crazy game."

For Aston-Reese, a Penguins fan since his youth, the rivalry takes on even more meaning. He watched the rivalry growing up and got his first on-ice experience during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.

"I have a lot of memories from this building. I played my first playoff game here," Aston-Reese said. "It was Game 6 when we (eliminated Philadelphia) here. There were beer cans flying down and whatever they handed out, it was all raining down on us as we were leaving."

Break

Tuesday's game will be the final contest for the Penguins before embarking on the All-Star break and bye week. Pittsburgh will have a nine-day reprieve.

"You want to win and then not think about it the whole nine days," Pettersson said. "It's a great opportunity for us to leave it all out there because you know you have a week break."

The Penguins have played a packed schedule in January. Pittsburgh played 11 games in 20 days, which included seven on the road and four separate road trips.

"It's been a hectic schedule the last few weeks," Pettersson said. "A lot of travel, we've been basically playing every other day. We still feel like we have a lot of energy in this group and we're going to leave it all out there."

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