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Penguins at Flyers, 18/2/2012


Guest brelic
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From the twitterverse, apparently, JVR, Briere, Jagr, and Meszaros are all playing.

And Grossman.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-Meltzer/Flyers-Gameday-21812-vs-Penguins/45/42296

With just two points separating the Atlantic Division arch-rivals in the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers (32-18-7) will renew hostilities with the Pittsburgh Penguins (32-20-5) this afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. The game has a 1 PM EST start time and will be broadcast locally on CSN Philly and nationally on NHL Network.

This is the third of six meetings between the teams this season, and the second of three in Philadelphia. On Dec. 8, the Flyers roared out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Danny Briere, Wayne Simmonds (PPG) and Scott Hartnell and then narrowly held on to prevail, 3-2. James Neal (PPG) and Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh, while Ilya Bryzgalov turned back 25 of 27 shots for the victory.

On Dec. 29, the clubs rematched in Pittsburgh. Jordan Staal enabled the Pens to jump out to a lead in the opening minute of play but Kimmo Timonen (PPG) responded midway through the opening stanza.

Much to the dismay of the Pittsburgh crowd, Jaromir Jagr put Philly ahead in the second period and Matt Read added some insurance late in the middle stanza. In the third period, Tyler Kennedy narrowed the gap to one but Max Talbot (in his first game back in Pittsburgh) sealed a 4-2 victory for Philly with a late empty net goal. Sergei Bobrovsky earned the win with 24 saves.

The Flyers have had more downs than ups in the month-and-a-half since that last game in Pittsburgh. However, they enter today's game coming off a 7-2 rout of Buffalo on Thursday. After a terrible first period, Philly exploded for seven unanswered goals, with a pair of goals coming from Talbot and Simmonds and single goals from Erik Gustafsson (his first in the NHL), Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek. Claude Giroux had five assists.

Today's game marks the Flyers' debut of newly acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossman. The former Dallas Stars blueliner practiced with his new team yesterday, paired with Andrej Meszaros. Jagr has been on the mend from a particularly vicious strain of the flu, which kept him out of the Buffalo game.

Meanwhile, Briere (shoulder injury) went down in the Buffalo game, and is considered questionable for today's game. Tom Sestito (groin muscle tear) could be out for 6 to 8 weeks. James van Riemsdyk (IR, concussion) is finally closing in on his return barring further setbacks. There is a chance JVR could even play today. Defenseman Chris Pronger (LTIR, concussion) is lost for the regular season and playoffs.

The Penguins enter this game coming off a 2-1 regulation loss to Anaheim on Wednesday. Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer, has remained red hot of late, with 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in his last 10 games. For his career, Malkin has racked up a staggering 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 32 games against the Flyers.

Pittsburgh remains without superstar center Sidney Crosby (concussion). They are also missing Tyler Kennedy (high ankle sprain) from their starting lineup.

PROJECTED LINEUPS (subject to change)

FLYERS

Hartnell - Giroux - Jagr

Schenn/Read - Briere/Schenn - Simmonds

Read/Talbot - Talbot/Couturier - Voracek

Wellwood - Couturier - Shelley

Timonen - Coburn

Carle - Bourdon

Grossman - Meszaros

Bryzgalov

[bobrovsky]

PENGUINS

Kunitz - Malkin - Neal

Sullivan - Staal - Dupuis

Cooke - Jeffrey - Asham

Adams - Vitale - Park

Orpik - Letang

Niskanen - Michalek

Martin - Engelland

Fleury

[Johnson]

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The only thing that would make me smile as much as a Flyers win is knocking Kunitz out. I still want payback for that dirty kneeing incident that took Timonen out a few years ago in the playoffs (no penalty or supplemental discipline either, since well, it's the 'privileged' team). Kunitz is scum, and gets away with WAY more cheapness than most across the entire league, not just heads up against the Flyers.

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@flyerrod

yep that little troll plays pretty well against us and has a sneaky good shot, he's excellent at changing the angle with that little drag move he does from the right fo circle. for that team to make some noise everyone has to be healthy they're so top heavy, they'll miss him. I won't ...plus when he and malkin are on screen at the same time it scares my daughter.

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