Game 7 Preview: Flyers meet Penguins in 1st Battle of PA


Claude Giroux and the Flyers bid for their second win of the season against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Wednesday night. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

After a disasterous night in Chicago, the Flyers have a very quick turnaround. And it comes against their biggest rival.

The Pittsburgh Penguins await the Orange and Black in the first installment of the Battle of Pennsylvania in the 2014-15 season.

Given the Flyers energy level in Tuesday night's loss, it is another daunting task for a team that has struggled early in the season. The opening face-off for Wednesday night's game is set for 8 p.m.

The Flyers failed to get offense against the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Claude Giroux and Michael Raffl generated the best chances on the night.

Tuesday also marked the first night that Jake Voracek failed to record a point this season. Wayne Simmonds is also riding a two-game goal-less streak after opening the season with five goals in four games.

The Flyers should get Braydon Coburn back in the lineup. The defenseman took warm-ups before Tuesday night's game, but was a late scratch.

Otherwise, expect the same defensive group for tonight. There was a chance that Craig Berube would use seven defensemen on Tuesday. There is likely the same chance tonight, but it would be more likely that Blair Jones remain in the lineup and a defenseman – likely Nick Schultz – come out.

After suffering the 4-0 loss on Tuesday, Steve Mason will likely get the night off, putting Ray Emery in net. Emery picked up the win on Saturday after entering the game for Mason in the third.

The Penguins have been a hot team at the start of the season. Holding a 3-1-0 record, the Penguins come in with what may be the hottest line in hockey.

Sidney Crosby already has nine points in four games, scoring four goals and adding five assists. Patrik Hornqvist, an offseason acquisition for Pittsburgh, has benefitted from playing on the top line, scoring four goals and adding four assists for eight points. Chris Kunitz rounds out the top line.

Of course, the Penguins are much deeper than the top line with Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis on the second line.

Defensively, the Penguins roll three solid pairs led by Kris Letang, Olli Maatta and Paul Martin. Christian Ehrhoff replaces Matt Niskanen, who was lost in free agency.

In goal, the Penguins will start Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 3-0-0 with a 2.50 GAA and a .915 save percentage in three games.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (4th, T-11th on road), Penguins (1st, 2nd at home) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (29th, 30th on road), Penguins (26th, 22nd at home) 
  • The Flyers were 4-1-0 against the Penguins last season. They suffered a loss to the Penguins on Oct. 17, 4-1. The Flyers picked up wins over the Penguins on Nov. 13, 2-1, March 15, 4-0, March 16, 4-3, and April 12, 4-3 in overtime.
  • Milestone Watch: Luke Schenn needs one point to reach 100 for his career. R.J. Umberger needs two assists for 200 in his career. Jake Voracek needs three points for 300 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Jason Akeson, Vincent Lecavalier, Nick Schultz

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Michael Raffl-R.J. Umberger-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Line 4: Blair Jones-Chris VandeVelde-Zac Rinaldo 

D-Pair 1: Andrew MacDonald-Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 2: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 3: Michael Del Zotto-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Ray Emery

Where to Watch

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is the Managing Editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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