By Matt Mastrogiovanni, Sports Talk Philly staff writer
The stage is set. On Saturday night, the Philadelphia Flyers are slated to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field.
As another installment of the always entertaining "Battle of Pennsylvania" approaches, let's take a look back at some of the most notable happenings throughout the history of this bitter rivalry.
2017 NHL Stadium Series:
The upcoming outdoor match between both squads will serve as revenge of sorts. After the Penguins defeated the Flyers, 4-2, in the Heinz Field setting, Philadelphia will definitely be more than determined to win this game and snag an all important two points in the standings. History hasn't been kind to the Flyers in outdoor games, as they are winless in three appearances. However, with different players and time passed, they could finally be victorious in front of a home crowd.
2012 Up to and In the Stanley Cup Playoffs
It's known that playoff hockey is arguably the toughest, most physical postseason in sports. Both teams set the standard for that type of play even before they met in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
After the bad blood boiled over in that game, the quarterfinal series served as a stark reminder of how intense the rivalry was. Luckily, the Flyers took the first three games of the best-of-seven. An overtime win, a pair of hat tricks from Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, and a surprise appearance from Hulk Hogan on the Wells Fargo Center scoreboard propelled the Flyers to a 3-0 series lead.
However, the Penguins did not go quietly winning the next two games and trying to force a Game 7. Unfortunately for them, Pittsburgh was on the receiving end of a Giroux monster shift as he nailed Sidney Crosby and proceeded to score just 32 seconds into Game 6:
Eric Lindros Counters Mario Lemieux
Before the days of Crosby, another Penguin constantly haunted the Flyers in the form of Mario Lemieux. Drafted first overall in 1984, Lemieux obviously became one of the best to ever play in the National Hockey League. He continued his career until 2006 racking up 1,723 in 915 games all in a Penguins uniform.
It wasn't until 1992 that the Flyers had a weapon of their own to combat Lemieux's dominance. A young Eric Lindros came on the scene establishing himself as a league-best power forward.
In the 1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lindros helped the Flyers defeat Lemieux and the Penguins in five games on their way to the Stanley Cup Final that year. Even though both players took different paths throughout their careers, both are one of the many greats to play in the NHL and as part of the heated rivalry.
Danny Briere Scores the First Goal in Penguins' New Arena
In his career, Danny Briere scored his fair share of memorable goals. One of them came against the Penguins on Oct. 7, 2010, when he notched the first ever goal scored in Pittsburgh's new arena.
At the time, it was the CONSOL Energy Center and is now known as the PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins have been playing within the arena since that season after playing at the well-known Mellon Arena ever since their inception in 1967.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh fans, the Flyers will own a little piece of the building's history for the foreseeable future.
Kieth Primeau's Overtime Heroics
Imagine watching the time equivalent of almost three NHL games in one night. That was the story on May 4, 2000 in a game that technically ended the next day.
In the fifth overtime period, Keith Primeau fired a shot that went down in history. After cutting towards the slot, he ripped a shot right past Penguins goalie Ron Tugnutt and ended the marathon game.
According to NHL.com, the game is still the longest game in modern history. Two games in the entire history of the NHL lasting longer were a 1936 semifinal game between the Montreal Maroons and Detroit Red Wings and a 1933 semifinal game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.
Through the years, the Flyers and the Penguins have shared many memorable moments on the ice. Each team has shined brighter than the other at times but the intensity has never died.
Now, with the rivalry going outside once again, it's just about time to write another chapter in the continuing saga that is the "Battle of Pennsylvania."