After a tough loss on Tuesday and an epic comeback win on Thursday against their in-state rivals, the Flyers hit the ice at PPG Paints Arena Saturday afternoon looking to keep the momentum going. They’ll come to trying to win the rubber match of their rare three-game set against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Although they missed out on a chance to really bury Pittsburgh in the standings by taking all three matchups this week, the Flyers have a chance to two of three. It would put them four points ahead of the Pens with two games in hand. As a wise ’80s band once said “Don’t be sad, ‘Cause two-outta-three ain’t bad.”
The Orange and Black will look to their captain Claude Giroux to help keep the train rolling. He is coming off a performance where he moved back to center and put the team on his back, to the tune of two goals scored (including the game winner) as well as a primary assist on the tying goal. Similarly, Nolan Patrick also looked good in his return to his natural center ice position Thursday and has played with good jump the past few nights. He hasn’t been putting up many points lately, but I’d look for him to make an impact on the scoresheet this afternoon.
After taking a questionable late hit on Thursday, Phil Myers is listed as doubtful for the game. In a similar vein, Mark Friedman left Thursday’s game after taking a big reverse hit from Patrick, and is clearly showing ill-effects as he missed Friday’s practice with the dreaded “upper-body injury.”
Pittsburgh has not yet announced his status for this afternoon. Brian Dumoulin and Evan Rodrigues both practiced Friday after long absences, however, and there’s a good chance Dumoulin could take Friedman’s place if he’s unable to go.
As for the goal-tending matchup, the Flyers announced Friday afternoon that they will be sticking with the hot hand in goal, as they will start Brian Elliott for the first of this back-to-back set. Pittsburgh hasn’t yet named their starter, but since they are also playing the first of a back-to-back and Tristan Jarry started the last two, you’d have to think there’s a significant chance we’ll see Casey DeSmith.
Here is how NHL.com projects the teams will line up for today’s game.
Projected Lineup (PHI)
Projected Lineup (PIT)
1:00 Eastern Standard Time
NBC Sports Philadelphia (TV), 97.5 the Fanatic (radio)