NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Philadelphia 1 0 0 1
Pittsburgh 1 1 3 5
12:30 PM PT1:30 PM MT2:30 PM CT3:30 PM ET20:30 GMT4:30 1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST0:30 UAE (+1)15:30 ETNaN:� BRT, March 11, 2023
PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 18,254

Penguins put late playoff chase up against Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

  1. The Penguins look to continue their recent mastery of the Flyers as the Metropolitan Division rivals face off for the second time this season. Pittsburgh has won five of the last six matchups, including a 4-1 road victory November 25 as Teddy Blueger had three assists.
  2. Scott Laughton is second in the NHL with seven short-handed points. He had six in the first 441 games of his career entering this season.
  3. The Flyers are 3-for-35 (8.6 percent) on the power play over their last 17 games and have allowed four short-handed goals in that span. Philadelphia is just 11-for-92 with the man advantage on the road, ranking last with a 12.0 percent conversion rate.
  4. Sidney Crosby carries a 12-game point streak against the Flyers into this contest, totaling 10 goals and nine assists in that stretch. He has accumulated four goals and seven assists on the power play during the run.
  5. The Penguins have matched a season worst by giving up four or more goals for four straight games. They have not yielded four or more goals in five consecutive games since December 13-19, 2006.
  6. Evgeni Malkin has a five-game home point streak against Philadelphia entering this contest with two goals and six assists. Malkin has 12 goals and 27 assists in 30 lifetime home games versus the Flyers.

What traditionally is a heated rivalry this time looks like a mismatch when the struggling Philadelphia Flyers visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

All figures to go as planned for the Penguins if they can find a finishing touch.

Pittsburgh, in hot contention for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot, is having trouble polishing off games. That was on full display Thursday when a 3-1 lead in the third period morphed into a 4-3 overtime loss at home against the New York Islanders.

"We can play as good as we want; if we don't win, it's useless," said Pittsburgh winger Jason Zucker, who scored a first-period goal against the Islanders.

The Penguins are 1-0-1 on a five-game homestand, with the first four of those games against fellow Metropolitan Division clubs. That includes games on back-to-back days this weekend against the Flyers and New York Rangers.

It is a stretch that could determine whether Pittsburgh makes the playoffs for a 17th straight year.

"We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves," Zucker said. "We've got two huge games this weekend. We've got a ton of huge games down the stretch. We've got to be better. We've got to be able to push here."

As demoralizing as Thursday's loss was, the Penguins are feeling good about their recent run of play.

"Our compete level was extremely high (and) our intent was in the right place, and that's why (it) stings," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Penguins still have won five of their past seven games and would seem to have a decided edge over Philadelphia.

The Flyers on Friday fired general manager Chuck Fletcher and named Daniel Briere interim GM.

The Flyers rank 30th in the league with an average of 2.57 goals per game. They have managed seven goals over their past five games and are coming off a 1-0 road loss Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Flyers are 1-5-1 in their past seven games, 2-9-1 in their past 12 and are well out of the playoff chase. While getting shut out Thursday, the Flyers had just 19 shots.

Philadelphia coach John Tortorella was blunt about his team's offense.

"We don't make enough plays. We haven't made enough plays. And we probably won't the rest of the year," he said. "We're learning how to be patient in a game. When you don't score, you've got to play with some patience. ... It's a challenge, period, for us offensively. We all know that.

"We've got to be patient. We've got to be simple. We've got to play above (the puck), wait for our opportunities, hopefully get some good forechecking, and hopefully bank some in."

The Flyers couldn't do that Thursday.

"Those chances don't come easy, and when we do get chances, we've got to bury them," Philadelphia forward Owen Tippett said. "I think we can generate a little bit more in right front of the net."

The status of Philadelphia forwards Wade Allison and Brendan Lemieux is unclear. Neither played Thursday and both are considered day-to-day because of unspecified injuries.

The Flyers will be without defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who will be serving the second game of a two-game suspension for spearing Tampa Bay's Corey Perry. Tortorella said the NHL made "the right call" with the suspension because DeAngelo "went over the line."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 10, 2023

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