Flyers vs. Penguins Preview: Battle of PA- Kris1K Edition
Kris Letang celebrates his 1K NHL game as the Pens face the Flyers.
To start this Sunday funday of hockey, we have to congratulate Kris Letang who becomes the third and last member of the Pens' "Big Three" trio of legends to hit the 1,000 NHL games played mark tonight against the cross-state rival Philadelphia Flyers. There's no better team for this, as Kris like most Penguins has had a storied (and of course contentious) history against the Flyers...
(Some moments in Kris Letang's career vs. the Philadelphia Flyers.)
We'll have more coverage on the major #1Kris milestone later but first, we're focused on forecasting a significant meeting between these two old rival teams.
The Pens have been bumped out of the playoffs with their 4-3 loss to the #1 ranked Boston Bruins yesterday. The Florida Panthers jumped over them to grab hold of the second Eastern Conference wildcard slot. The Penguins currently sit one point back.
Bottom line: this formerly meaningless game against the Flyers has big implications for the Pens' playoff chances and is now a crucial must-win.
Luckily the Penguins have had Philly's number this season and are attempting to sweep the 2022-23 series today 3-0. The Pens have managed to score points in eight of their last nine against the Flyers at home. And Pittsburgh has only lost once to Philadelphia in their last five meetings.
Pens Game #77: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Date: April 2, 2023
Time: 6 PM (ET)
Place: Pittsburgh, PA
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #LetsGoFlyers
Penguins Broadcast: AT&T Sportsnet
Flyers Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Canadian Broadcast: SN1, SNE
Online Stream: ESPN+
Penguins Radio: 105.9 The X/Penguins Radio Network
Flyers Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Records- PIT: 37-29-10, PHI: 29-33-13
Last 10- PIT: 3-7-0, PHI: 5-3-2
Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, PHI: 1 Loss
Standings- PIT: 19th, PHI: 26th
Points- PIT: 84, PHI: 71
PIT: Eastern Conference #8, 1 point out of the 2nd Eastern Wildcard spot.
PHI: Eastern Conference #14, eliminated from playoffs.
Season Series- 2-0 PIT
Series Goals For- PIT: 9, PHI: 2
Team Analytics Comparison:
Projected starting goalies:
-Casey DeSmith- #1
Bio Info: 6' 0", 181 lbs. DOB: 8/13/1991 (31). From: Rochester, NH.
Drafted: Undrafted; Experience: 5th Season.
Record: 14-16-4, 3.20 GAA, .904 SV%
Career vs. PHI: 2-2-0, 2.92 GAA, .903 SV%
-Samuel Ersson- #33
Bio Info: 6' 2", 176 lbs. DOB: 10/20/1999 (23). From: Falun, Sweden.
Drafted: 2018- Rd 5, Pk 143 (PHI). Experience: Rookie.
Record: 6-1-0, 3.07 GAA, .898 SV%
Career vs. PIT: Debut
Our listless Pittsburgh Penguins only have three wins in their last 10 games. Luckily they’ve swept the Flyers 2-0 thus far this season by a goal differential of 9-2.
NEXT UP: A one-game road trip to Jersey on Tuesday trailed by a home game vs. the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Both teams currently hold playoff spots.
-Nick Bonino (F): LTIR, lacerated kidney, out until 4/4.
-Dmitry Kulikov (D): LTIR, lower body, out until 4/6.
-Marcus Pettersson (D): LTIR, lower body, week-to-week.
-Jan Rutta (D): lower body, week-to-week
The projected Penguins lines for Sunday, April 2, 2023, vs. the Philadelphia Flyers:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen - Ryan Poehling - Mikael Granlund
Drew O’Connor - Jeff Carter - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
P.O. Joseph - Jeff Petry
Mark Friedman - Chad Ruhwedel
PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Rakell, Guentzel
PP2: Joseph, Zucker, Rust, Granlund, Carter
PK1: Poehling, Rust, Dumoulin, Petry
PK2: Granlund, Archibald, Ruhwedel, Letang
The Flyers are also coming in on a back-to-back game situation. They lost to the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 6-3 on Saturday.
-Trade Deadline Movements-
Key players added: Forward- Brendan Lemieux.
Key players lost: Forwards- Patrick Brown, Zack MacEwen, Isaac Ratcliffe.
-2022-23 Flyers Team Leaders vs. Penguins-
Goals: Kiefer Bellows, Kevin Hayes- 1.
Assists: Justin Braun, Nicolas Deslauriers, Travis Sanheim- 1
Points: Kiefer Bellows, Justin Braun, Nicolas Deslauriers, Kevin Hayes, Travis Sanheim- 1.
Plus/Minus: Patrick Brown*, Noah Cates, Nicolas Deslauriers, Tanner Laczynski- +0.
PIM: Nicolas Deslauriers- 5.
Shots: Owen Tippett- 9.
Hits: Nicolas Deslauriers- 13.
Blocks: Travis Sanheim- 7.
Takeaways: Noah Cates, Elliott Desnoyers, Morgan Frost, Kevin Hayes, Zack MacEwen*, Owen Tippett- 2.
Faceoff %: Scott Laughton- 85.7%.
[*= Traded elsewhere]
-Cam Atkinson (F): IR, neck, out for season.
-Sean Couturier (F): IR, back, out for season.
-Ryan Ellis (D): LTIR, back, out for season.
-Carter Hart (G): lower body, day-to-day.
For The Penguins: Jake Guentzel. It’s Guentzel once again for a fourth game in a row. The guy just isn't slowing down. Jake extended his point streak to six games on Saturday and lengthened his goal streak to four games. He has goals in five of the last six games played. It's can't stop, won't stop currently for Jake Guentzel.
For The Flyers: Morgan Frost. Frost is coming straight off of a two-goal game yesterday against the Sabres in a 6-3 loss for Philadelphia. The Flyers might be seeing the star breakout of young Frost, as he's produced points in seven of his last nine games including four multi-point nights. He's also on a three-game consecutive point streak. This is the highest production level Morgan Frost has played at thus far in his two-season NHL career. He appears poised to begin the promising future which was expected of him as a 2017 first-round draft pick.