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Flyers-Penguins: Game 51 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It was 10 days ago that the Flyers last took the ice. On Friday night, they finally make their return from the All-Star break and bye week and get a familiar opponent.

The Flyers secured a 3-0 win 10 days ago against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and now will open up the second-half push to the playoffs by meeting the Penguins again, this time on the road.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Pittsburgh Penguins GP G A P
Sean Couturier 50 13 30 43 Evgeni Malkin 37 15 35 50
Travis Konecny 47 17 26 43 Jake Guentzel 39 20 23 43
Jake Voracek 50 10 28 38 Bryan Rust 36 21 22 43
Claude Giroux 50 13 22 35 Kris Letang 42 10 21 31
James van Riemsdyk  50 14 15 29 Jared McCann 48 14 14 28
 
Player to Watch
25 James van Riemsdyk 87 Sidney Crosby
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 4 A, 6 P, E Last 5 Games: 3 G, 5 A, 8 P, -1
 
James van Riemsdyk entered the All-Star break with goals in back-to-back games and a total of four points in his previous two games. After going eight straight games without a point, van Riemsdyk has six in his last five games.
 
Sidney Crosby had posted eight points in four games since returning from injury before last Tuesday's game against the Flyers where he and the rest of the Penguins were shut out. There will certainly be a lot of motivation for the Penguins captain to be better than he was in last week's meeting against the Flyers. 
 
Projected Goalie Matchup
37 Brian Elliott 35 Tristan Jarry
24 GP, 12-5-3, 2.89 GAA, .904 SV% 25 GP, 16-8-1, 2.16 GAA, .929 SV%

Brian Elliott stopped all 19 shots faced in last Tuesday's shutout win over the Penguins. Elliott has been excellent since being moved into the primary starter role with Carter Hart out with injury. In the three starts he has made since Hart's injury, Elliott has stopped 83 of 87 shots faced in three straight wins.

Tristan Jarry was also in goal for the Flyers 3-0 win over Pittsburgh last Tuesday, allowing two goals on 29 shots. Jarry lost his final two starts going to the All-Star break, allowing a combined five goals in that time.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Carter Hart (lower right abdominal, out at least seven days), Shayne Gostisbehere (knee, day-to-day), Nolan Patrick (migrane disorder, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma, out for season)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
25 James van Riemsdyk 28 Claude Giroux 11 Travis Konecny
12 Michael Raffl 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
21 Scott Laughton 13 Kevin Hayes 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
49 Joel Farabee 82 Connor Bunnaman 18 Tyler Pitlick
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 5 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 61 Justin Braun  
Goalie    
37 Brian Elliott 34 Alex Lyon  

Lineup Notes

Michael Raffl makes his return to the lineup on the second line. Some other Flyers are also getting close to returning. Shayne Gostisbehere practiced on Thursday and will not play on Friday, but could be ready as soon as Saturday. Carter Hart is still at least a week away from returning to game action.

Penguins Projected Lineup

Injuries: Jake Guentzel, Dominik Kahun, Nick Bjugstad, Brian Dumoulin

Scratches: Juuso Riikola

Left Wing Center Right Wing
19 Jared McCann 87 Sidney Crosby 12 Dominik Simon
17 Bryan Rust 71 Evgeni Malkin 72 Patric Hornqvist
46 Zach Aston-Reese 53 Teddy Blueger 13 Brandon Tanev
18 Alex Galchenyuk 26 Andrew Agozzino 57 Anthony Angello
Defense    
3 Jack Johnson 58 Kris Letang  
28 Marcus Pettersson 6 John Marino  
2 Chad Ruhwedel 4 Justin Schultz  
Goalie    
35 Tristan Jarry 30 Matt Murray  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-18th), Penguins (17th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (10th), Penguins (11th)
  • Recent History vs. Penguins
    • Oct. 29, 2019 - Penguins 7, Flyers 1 (at PIT)
    • Jan. 21, 2020 - Flyers 3, Penguins 0 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Penguins
    • Claude Giroux - 50 GP, 16 G, 35 A, 51 P
    • Jake Voracek - 42 GP, 22 G, 20 A, 42 P
    • Sean Couturier - 36 GP, 6 G, 17 A, 23 P
    • James van Riemsdyk - 38 GP, 12 G, 11 A, 23 P
    • Brian Elliott - 16 GP, 9-4-2, 2.96 GAA, .914 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs three points to reach 800 for his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN

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