The Philadelphia Flyers will turn back to goaltender Carter Hart in hopes of a rebound performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins, now led by general manager Ron Hextall, on Thursday night. Despite the Flyers’ fading hopes of earning a playoff berth, the two teams still own the game’s greatest rivalry.
The Flyers jumped out to a fast start to the season with two wins against Pittsburgh at the Wells Fargo Center in January, which seems like a lifetime ago. They lost two of three games played in Pittsburgh in early March.
Record: 19-17-6 (44 points)
The Flyers gave a less than spirited effort in their first game since the NHL trade deadline when they fell 6-1 to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Center Sean Couturier scored their only goal with an assist from James van Riemsdyk. The blowout was a familiar feeling for the Flyers, who are second worst in the NHL in both goals allowed and penalty kill percentage.
Defenseman Sam Morin has played his way into a contributing role as a physical, intimidating defenseman for a team that has lacked intensity this season. The Flyers need to show more pride against Pittsburgh, a rival franchise who has drastically outperformed them in recent years, and Morin’s style of play could provide some much needed energy.
Rookie Tanner Laczynski figures to play an increased role following the Michael Raffl trade. He had a season high 12:26 TOI on Tuesday but still has not recorded a point in four games played.
Wade Allison has been practicing with the team recently and will be making his NHL debut in this one.
van Riemsdyk- Couturier – Farabee
Voracek – Giroux – Konecny
Laughton – Hayes – Laczynski
Lindblom – Patrick – Allison
Provorov – Braun
Sanheim – Hägg
Gostisbehere – Myers
Record: 27-13-2 (56 points)
The Penguins sit in third place in the MassMutual East Division. They are poised for yet another playoff run as Hextall acquired forward Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings on Monday in exchange for future draft choices.
Both Hextall and Carter have spent significant time with the Flyers organization in the past. The two have already won a Stanley Cup together as members of the Kings organization, but seeing them succeed with the Penguins would feel like salt in the wounds of a terrible season for Flyers fans.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux led a furious three-goal comeback victory against the Penguins on March 4. Since then, the two teams have headed in opposite directions. The Pens are 15-4-1 even despite a rash of injuries, most notably to center Evgeni Malkin. The Flyers are 7-12-3.
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Zucker – Carter – McCann
Aston-Reese – Blueger – Rodrigues
Zohorna – Jankowski – Sceviour
Dumoulin – Letang
Pettersson – Marino
Matheson – Ceci
Where, When, and How to Watch
Time: 7 PM EST
Location: PPG Paints Arena; Pittsburgh, PA
TV Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio Broadcast: 97.5 The Fanatic
Live Stream: Fubo TV
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