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Flyers-Penguins: Game 20 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Despite the lack of their captain in the lineup, the Penguins got the better of the Flyers in the second period and never looked back. That's how this unique three-game series in Pittsburgh started for the Orange and Black.

The second game is set for Thursday night, and the Penguins will remain without their captain due to COVID protocols. Meanwhile, the Flyers get another chance to respond to adversity and to play with a full lineup after their own COVID situation.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Pittsburgh Penguins GP G A P
James van Riemsdyk 19 10 16 26 Sidney Crosby 20 7 11 18
Joel Farabee 19 10 9 19 Jake Guentzel 21 7 11 18
Kevin Hayes 19 7 9 16 Bryan Rust 21 7 10 17
Claude Giroux 17 1 13 14 Kris Letang 20 4 11 15
Jake Voracek 16 3 10 13 Evgeni Malkin 21 4 9 13
 
Players To Watch 3-4

Joel Farabee continues to break out this season. He scored two more goals on Tuesday, bringing his season total to 10 and topping his previous mark from his rookie season. In addition, Farabee now has 19 points in 19 games this season. As the top line continues to roll, look for Farabee to be right in the middle of it as usual.
 
The Penguins had a strong night from their top line, which featured Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel. Guentzel finished the game with an assist, but had several dangerous looks. Looking to build on their strong game, keep an eye on Guentzel to potentially take over.
 
Goalie Matchup 3-4

Brian Elliott gets back between the pipes for the Flyers on Thursday. Elliott has put together a string of success this season, most recently in goal for his second shutout of the season last Saturday in Buffalo.

The Flyers fired 42 shots on the net of Tristan Jarry on Tuesday. Jarry played a strong game, making 40 saves on his way to a win. He'll be back in the net on Thursday night looking to follow up that performance.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 3-4

Flyers Scratches: Nicolas Aube-Kubel (healthy), Erik Gustafsson (healthy), Morgan Frost (injury)
 
Opponent Line Combos 3-4

Penguins Scratches: Sidney Crosby (COVID protocol), Jason Zucker (injury), Brian Dumoulin (injury), Evan Rodrigues (injury), Juuso Riikola (injury), Mark Jankowski (injury), Chad Ruhwedel (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Alain Vigneault did not finalize the lineup and said there were "moving parts" before making final decisions, but it figures for now that there won't be any anticipated changes. We'll have to see if that's the case closer to warmups.
  • Penguins: The Penguins remain without Sidney Crosby due to COVID protocols, and while Brian Dumoulin and Evan Rodrigues are back skating, they are also unavailable for the game. Mark Jankowski is a game-time decision.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (20th), Penguins (25th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-27th), Penguins (25th)
  • Recent History vs. Penguins 
    • Jan. 13, 2021 - Flyers 6, Penguins 3 (at PHI)
    • Jan. 15, 2021 - Flyers 5, Penguins 2 (at PHI)
    • March 2, 2021 - Penguins 5, Flyers 2 (at PIT)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Penguins
    • Joel Farabee - 6 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 P
    • Claude Giroux - 54 GP, 16 G, 38 A, 54 P
    • Jake Voracek - 46 GP, 23 G, 22 A, 45 P
    • Carter Hart - 5 GP, 3-1-0, 2.32 GAA, .931 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Erik Gustafsson needs one assist to reach 100 in his career.
    • Jake Voracek needs two assists to reach 500 in his career.

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

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