It finally happened, the Flyers were eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. It was a long time coming as this team was already looking toward next year. This just made things more official.
Their opponent, however, is fighting to keep a wild card spot. The Penguins currently sit on the outside looking in and have been fighting with the Panthers for the second wild card spot.
So the Flyers can try and play a bit of spoiler to their rivals with a victory, though they’ve lost the first two matchups of this series by a combined score of 9-2.
Record: 29-33-13 (71 points, 7th in Metro)
Despite the return of Travis Konecny and two goals from Morgan Frost, the Flyers couldn’t keep up with Alex Tuch and the Sabres. It broke their season-high seven-game point streak. Konecny did score in his return, which was a positive sign to see.
With Carter Hart still out, Sam Ersson is likely to get the start in net as Felix Sandstrom took the loss against Buffalo. It would be his first start in a little over a month. He’s coming off a 19-save win for the Phantoms on Friday.
With two more goals, Frost is now third on the team and is two away from the first 20-goal campaign of his career. He’s already reached career-highs in all offensive categories so this would just be another positive development for the 23-year-old. He has five points during a three-game point streak and has seven points in his last 10 games.
Joel Farabee – Morgan Frost – Owen Tippett
Scott Laughton – Noah Cates – Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk – Kevin Hayes – Wade Allison
Nicolas Deslauriers – Brendan Lemieux
Ivan Provorov – Cam York
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Nick Seeler – Tony DeAngelo
Record: 37-29-10 (84 points, 5th in Metro)
The Penguins aren’t necessarily in a desperate situation. They are just a single point back of the Panthers and they have played one fewer game. But with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, every point is precious.
The last spot will likely come between the Panthers and Penguins, though Buffalo has an outside chance as they sit four points out. Pittsburgh has not missed the playoff since 2006, winning three Stanley Cups since then. They haven’t made it out of the first round in the last four years, however. So this team’s window could be closing soon.
If the Flyers want to play spoiler, they’ll need to find a way to keep Sidney Crosby off the scoresheet. He has not scored in four straight games and has just one point in that span. But when he’s faced the Flyers, Crosby has scored 53 goals and amassed 122 points in 82 career games. He’s second on the Penguins with 31 goals and first in points with 86.
Jake Guentzel is the Penguins leading scorer with 35 goals. He has scored in four straight games and has a point in six straight. He has 26 points in 25 career games against Philadelphia.
Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker – Evgeni Malkin – Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen – Ryan Poehling – Mikael Granlund
Drew O’Connor – Jeff Carter – Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin – Kris Letang
Pierre-Olivier Joseph – Jeff Petry
Mark Friedman – Chad Ruhwedel
Where, When, and How to Watch/Listen
Time: 6 PM
Where: PPG Paints Arena
Radio: 97.5 FM
Live Stream: FuboTV
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