After an old-school Flyers victory over the Flames, Philadelphia welcomes in the Penguins on Monday night. This is the third of four meetings between the two rivals.
The Flyers swept the home-and-home series over Pittsburgh when the teams last faced in December. It took a shootout on Dec. 2 after Jake Guentzel tied the game with 21 seconds to go in regulation. Four of the six goals scored game in the third period. Sam Ersson stopped all three shooters he faced, while Sean Couturier gave the Flyers the 4-3 victory. Two days later, the teams needed extra time to decide a winner again. Couturier was the hero again, scoring with a little over a minute left in overtime on Dec. 4 in a 2-1 win.
Responding to adversity is what John Tortorella is looking for in his players. Morgan Frost did that in his return to the lineup against the Flames. Not only did he have two points, he was more noticeable and engaged. It's keeping that engagement up that has been a problem for him. There isn't doubt Frost has the skill to be an effective player at the NHL level. It's always been about consistency on a game-by-game basis. If Frost can find a way to be effective, it will go a long way. Tortorella is looking for offense out of him, but staying active in the game would certainly help.
The same goes for Cam Atkinson, though he has been around the league a lot longer to know what he has to do to help his team. He has played with Tortorella before, and this isn't the first time they've dealt with a problem. But it is up to Atkinson to find a way out of this slump. He started off the season well after having missed a year of hockey. All eight of his goals came in the first two months of the season. He has not scored since Nov. 11, though he did register an assist against the Flames on New Year's Eve.
Atkinson is one of the veterans on this team and can help lead the way if he is able to kick this slump. He is a long way away from the 41 goals he put up in 2018-19. If he can find a way out of this, it's possible that Atkinson could get into the 15-20 goal range. That would be about average for him during the last four seasons.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Joel Farabee - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Owen Tippett - Scott Laughton - Cam Atkinson
Tyson Foerster - Morgan Frost - Bobby Brink
Nicolas Deslauriers - Ryan Poehling - Garnet Hathaway
Cam York - Travis Sanheim
Nick Seeler - Sean Walker
Egor Zamula - Rasmus Ristolainen
The Penguins finished the month of December on a hot streak, going 5-0-1 in their final six games. January hasn't been as kind to them, though. They have lost two of three games this month. The losses came to the Sabres and the Capitals.
By no surprise, the Penguins are led by 36-year-old Sidney Crosby. He has a team-leading 22 points, and he has six points in his last five games. Two of which were multi-point outings. He has not shown signs of slowing down any time soon. The Flyers held him off the scoresheet in their first meeting, but he scored the opening goal last time out. Evgeni Malkin, who had an assist in the last meeting, is third on the team with 33 points and has just 14 goals on the season. It's 29-year-old Jake Guentzel who leads Pittsburgh with 43 points.
The Flyers will be seeing Alex Nedeljkovic who is making his 14th appearance this season. He was in the net for the overtime loss on Dec, 4. Since then, he has won five of his last eight outings. Nedeljkovic enters the night with a 2.62 GAA and a respectable .917 SV%.
Penguins Projected Lineup
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Reilly Smith - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Drew O'Connor - Lars Eller - Valtteri Puustinen
Jansen Harkins - Noel Acciari - Jeff Carter
Marcus Pettersson - Kris Letang
Pierre-Olivier Joseph - Erik Karlsson
Ryan Graves - Chad Ruhwedel
When, Where, and How to Watch/Listen
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Live Stream: FuboTV
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