NHL Hockey

2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Philadelphia 0 1 1 2
Pittsburgh 0 3 2 5
5
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET21:00 BRT, March 2, 2021
PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 2,800

Flyers aim to continue stingy play, face Penguins

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

  1. Philadelphia picked up three-goal wins in these teams' first two meetings this season, in the first two games of the year for both squads. The last time the Flyers won three consecutive games against the Penguins by at least three goals was a four-game streak from March 31, 1996 -- February 16, 1997.
  2. The Flyers beat the Sabres, 3-0, in Buffalo on both Saturday and Sunday. They became the first team in NHL history to shut out the same opponent on the road in back-to-back games, a feat since matched by Toronto, who shut out the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday and Monday.
  3. James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist on Sunday, giving him a point in four straight games, with seven total points (3g, 4a) during the streak. He has eight multi-point games this season, six games with one point, and just four without a point.
  4. The Penguins were shut out by the Islanders, 2-0, in New York on Sunday, the first time this season they've failed to find the back of the net in a game. Pittsburgh was shut out in four games last season, and averaged 3.8 goals in the games following those shut outs.
  5. Sidney Crosby will miss this game after being placed on the COVID list. Since the start of last season, Pittsburgh is 33-25-3 (.566) with Crosby in the lineup, and 18-6-4 (.714) without him.
  6. Pittsburgh has 10 comeback wins this season, tied with Florida for the most in the league. Five of Philadelphia's seven losses this season (71.4 percent) have been the result of a blown lead -- only the Capitals (77.8 percent, 7/9) have had a higher percentage of their losses come via a blown lead.

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers for three games in a row beginning Tuesday, and the teams enter the miniseries with differing mindsets.

With two originally scheduled games and one that is a makeup of an earlier postponement, the three games could alter the clubs' lot in the tight East. Approaching the midpoint of the season, the fourth-place Flyers are two points ahead of the Penguins with two games in hand.

Philadelphia is flying fairly high after back-to-back 3-0 shutouts of Buffalo over the weekend, while Pittsburgh is feeling chapped after a lackluster 2-0 loss Sunday on the road against the Islanders.

The Flyers, who have won three in a row, got a shutout apiece from goaltenders Brian Elliott and Carter Hart.

"I think we're playing some good hockey," Philadelphia center Sean Couturier said. "We're responsible with and without the puck. We're making the right decisions, and I think we're trending the right way.

"We're hard to play against right now, and I think that leads to our offense most of the time."

Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault, who picked up his 700th career win Sunday, is going to count on defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to help keep the Penguins frustrated on offense after he played on the top pairing with Ivan Provorov, often matched against Buffalo's top line, and on the top power-play unit.

"He's playing with a lot more pop in his step," Vigneault said of Gostisbehere. "He's healthy for us. Great for him. Great for us. Great for our team. And he's obviously playing with more confidence, offensively and defensively.

"Those are top-end players (he countered in Buffalo), and we're going to see some top-end players against Pittsburgh -- and we're going to expect him and our whole team to be ready for it."

Philadelphia is 2-0 this year against the Penguins, by a collective 11-5 score.

Pittsburgh isn't so much thinking back to its earlier games against the Flyers. With a day off Monday, the Penguins were left to stew over their loss against the Islanders, which was their second loss in the past three games.

While it was just one contest, Sunday's game left Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan about as frustrated as he has ever seemed publicly and he was terse in discussing his team.

Sullivan had his reasons -- the Penguins didn't register a shot for more than 15 minutes at the start of Sunday's game, their penalty killers allowed both goals, and they were 0-for-2 on the power play.

Asked about the penalty kill, which ranks near the bottom of the NHL at 72.1 percent efficiency, Sullivan snapped, "It's a number of things. It's just not good enough. We've got to be better. ... We are what we are there. We're giving up too many goals there. It's not good enough."

Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin questioned his team's effort.

"It's work," he said, suggesting the Islanders bested the Penguins in that area and set an example Pittsburgh would do well to follow.

"They just work 60 minutes," Malkin said. "They don't play a pretty game. They play simple and win every battle in the offensive zone. They really work. If we (expect) to win, we need to work, too."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 1, 2021

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