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NHL on NBCSN: Flyers and Penguins clash on Rivalry Night

Nov 13, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT

Claude Giroux, Sidney Crosby Getty Images

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers head to CONSOL Energy Center to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers meet up, it seems to be a big deal. When they square off in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, it comes at a curious time for both teams.

The Penguins have lost two games in a row and, perhaps not coincidentally, Sidney Crosby hasn’t had a point in either game. He also hasn’t scored a goal in seven games. While Evgeni Malkin has been getting assists lately (four straight games to be exact), he too is in a goal funk having not potted one in 10 games.

With James Neal now back from an early injury, expect him and Malkin to find their stride soon.

Perhaps the best news of late for the Pens is that they’ll be back home after a three-game road trip in which their lone win came against a Columbus Blue Jackets team that’s got more than enough of their own problems winning games lately. On the upside, at least they haven’t had to worry about goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Fleury is 10-4-0 this season with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. The Penguins will take that kind of action from him anytime.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Wednesday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the link.

The Flyers, meanwhile, head to Pittsburgh on a bit of a tear having won their last two games. More importantly, their offense has woken up.

Philly took down Edmonton 4-2 on Saturday and are coming off a 5-0 win against Ottawa on Tuesday night. Claude Giroux finally broke through and scored his first goal of the year against the Oilers. Vincent Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn have picked up the goal-scoring slack otherwise, with Lecavalier leading the team with seven.

Winger Jakub Voracek had his own breakout against Ottawa with two goals of his own. The best statistics the Flyers have seen this season, however, have been in goal where Steve Mason has been nothing short of brilliant.

Mason may only be 5-7-1 on the season, but he’s stopping pucks with a .931 save percentage and a 2.15 goals-against average. The guy who struggled as a Blue Jacket hasn’t been anywhere to be seen so far in Philly and that’s been the one bright spot through what’s been a rough start to the year.

If the Flyers have, indeed, found their offensive stroke, they’ll give the Penguins the kind of fight we’d expect between these two teams. When they met earlier this season, the Penguins won handily in Philadelphia 4-1. Expect things to be a bit more feisty tonight.

  1. ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    oh how glorious it would be if Sidney replicated G’s goalless streak. like, not more, but the exact same # of games. I’d cry at the irony.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      is it too early to start a “Did Crosby score yet?” twitter account?

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        haha trying to make fun of the guy who is tied for the league lead in points, not your finest work.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        oh come on. it was clearly a joke…. based on the unsuccesses of my own team’s captain. Pens fans, so uptight.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        I’m never uptight. I just meant you can do better. Geno is a easier target this year so far. I can’t wait for this game, sucks it doesn’t start till 8. I know the pens are on “rivalry” night on NBC 4 weeks in a row, but this is their true rivalry. I hope everyone comes out if this one healthy.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        ya it’s bad enough getting home from work at 5:30 and having to wait for a 7PM game… 8 is rough.

      • mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Curious! What’s up my dude?! Tonight should hopefully be a good game! It’s a shame the flyers played yesterday I would really have liked to see both teams at 100%. I’m hoping my flyers have woken up offensively. Here’s to a good game, tonight… And to a little trash talking afterwards!! Lol

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        What’s up buddy. The flyers played real good last night. All four lines were rolling. Good to see them find their game. Anybody know who the flyers are starting in net tonight? Would they play mason back to back?

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM
        this says Mason. they’re usually on point.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        Nice! Coming off a shutout to boot. This game is going to be great.

      • mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        Yeah I’m hoping this is the norm now and not a fluke. Maybe chief’s system is starting to sink in and guys are on the same page. Its funny with mason bc we have lacked a Solid goalie for two decades and now we finally have one but can’t score a goal. It’s the Philly curse, man. I’m pretty sure mason is in net tonight from what I’ve read.
        Hopefully they keep their game going tonight. I want both of our teams to play at 100% tonight.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Flyers facebook says Emery actually.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        Ooo man it is emery. Wonder what Brent Johnson is up to tonight. We might need him.

      • c9castine - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        i gotta wait even longer i work till 1030. some beautiful soul invented the DVR though and I’ve managed to get my coworkers to keep their mouths shut about the game (or at least whisper amongst themselves).

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        dude, if I worked that late, I’d be fired just about as soon as I bought NHL Gamecenter and downloaded the app on my phone. I’d get NOTHING done if i could WATCH hockey at work.

    • whammy71 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Easy there big boy….I see that has Fraud Gayroux listed as #329 on it’s stat list for goals. Oh yeah…he’s a -8 too.

      I think your barking up the wrong tree.

      Sid is ranked 20th and has a +4.

      I think you need to worry a little more about your crappy team…and crappy captain. I’d tell you to also worry about your crappy city and crappy fans….but those things will never change – so why bother.

      Enjoy your crappy season!

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        once again, the Di**head of the Post award goes to whammy for not being able to accept anything less than “Crosby is my god” in a comment without spouting off at whoever said it.

      • whammy71 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Sorry – not a total Sid guy and I’ve stated that this year.

        Outside of his tremendous on-ice play – he is not a great leader. I’m not afraid to admit that he whines and cries to the refs too much. Then the rest of the squad follows. Before you know it – the team implodes during the playoffs.

        Nothing that happens between now and April will sway me. The Pens are built for the post-season…they can rack up a kazillion wins this year – but if they ain’t the last team standing – then this year is a failure.

        I could care less if Filthy wins 10-0….or if the Pens win 10-0….it makes no difference. It is all about results….and those results need to happen in April/May/June.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        you do understand that that’s the first non-trolling post most of us have ever seen come from you, right? so you can probably understand where my reply to you came from, right? you aren’t fooling me, you’re a Flyers troll, and will find any reason to bring up how “crappy” they are.

      • whammy71 - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        And if the Pens sucked like the Flyers currently do….all the Filthy faithfull would be doing the exact same thing.

        Enjoy your crappy season!

      • philafly - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        I was going to say how amazingly civil everyone has been on this board given tonight is a Flyers/Pens game. More often than not we are all hurling every insult imaginable at each other, even if the article is about the teams coach or GM.

        Leave it to Whammy to ruin to classy vibe being put out by the likes of Curioustraveler, ibieiniid, mcphilthy and Steelpenbucs. Good work, bud.

      • whammy71 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        I love how the Filthy fans have all of a sudden become civil.

        Guess that is what happens when your team sucks for more than one season.

        Enjoy your crappy season!

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Nov 13, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        You should worry about the next dude your going to go down on.

      • whammy71 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        BroadStreetMeatBeater……long time, no hear. Can’t talk shat when your team sucks eh?

        Enjoy Your Crappy Season!

  2. dropthepuckeh - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Over under on Steve Downie doing something stupid?

    I have no horse in this race but always enjoyable to watch these games. A real rivalry with some real hatred between the teams. Good stuff.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      nah it looks like the cage is keeping him from really getting involved in plays/scrums. I think he’ll be less effective and less of an agitator altogether until that thing comes off.

  3. steelpenbucs87 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Hoooooo baby, Flyguys vs. Pens. Gonna be a barn burner for sure.

    How things have changed over the course of a couple of weeks. Flyers have begun to put together an offense and the Pens defense has been bitten by the injury bug with Scuds out and Martin unlikely to play.

    Gotta believe this game is a close one – the Flyers have been playing well of late (better than the Pens int he last 10 games, although schedules do play into that a little). My guess is this comes down to the goalies. Both teams are going to be well over 30 shots in my estimation, so it’ll be a battle of Flower and Mason at the end of the day – two guys who have been solid in the young season.

    With that in mind, its going to come down to the PP/PK for both teams as each will need as much of an advantage as possible to beat these tenders. Disciplined hockey hasn’t always been a hallmark of these two teams (Hi Brayden, Hi Kris) so the team that can keep its head and pot PP opportunities wins.

    3-2 Pens.

  4. LampyB - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    I love how consistent Pens fans like Whammy are. Just insult everythung outside of Pitt, justify your boner for Crosby with stats, and throw out another insult or two.

    Whammy’s def top three on my NBC most retarded list. He exceeds my expectations every time.

  5. puckmepuckyou - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Lol love this stuff. A sh•t load of personal insults mixed with a few facts and stats. We are going to see one of the best rivalries in hockey tonight plus there is a game on. Slumps happen to every team every season so save your good trash talk for the playoff run.

  6. hockey412 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Borts better be in the lineup tonight (actually I guess they don’t have a choice). He downright assaulted Rinaldo the entire game last time…great to see the agitator getting agitated! I especially loved when someone else came to the rescue of Rinaldo to fight Bortuzzo. Who fights to stick up for a pest?

    Alright that’s all the jeering I can muster for this pre-game. Should be good – glad to see Emery’s not in net.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      i noticed Rosehill acts like Rinaldo’s protector. it’s kinda corny actually.

      • hockey412 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Actually Rosehill would have at least made sense…this was Newbury, who was giving up like 5 inches or something.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Nov 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Should be a great game…..Flyers PK has been solid and getting better….Should be interesting to see if it stays Giroux/Hall and Coots/Read as they have had a bunch of scoring chances the last few games!…..Also Coots will be glued to Malkin again and he has been playing well so i hope to see him shut Malkin down!

      • hockey412 - Nov 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        haha Coots does frustrate the almighty hell out of Malkin – and Malkin is normally good for putting Philly on at least one power play per game because of it…if he played against everyone as well as he plays against Malkin he’d win the Selke every year.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Nov 13, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        Not sure why this was left as a reply as i meant it to be it’s own comment…..He is a long way off from the Selke but who knows what the next 5 years might bring!

  7. mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    This is one of the best rivalries in sports. Even though I detest Pittsburgh I am jealous of the talent they have. It’s good to see so many real hockey fans from other cities get excited when these two teams play. I know everyone hates Philly and its obnoxious fans so I have to watch people talk crazy on this site all day… But I really do like to see the real fans come out and support games like this.

  8. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    The only good thing to ever come out of Philly was Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) …after that nothing else.

    Should be a great game

    …and one more thing which is that the Flyers announcer at the end of NHL Rivals last night said it best about the Flyers beating the Pens in 2012 “The Flyers might as well have won the cup that night since they knocked out Crosby and the Pens cause that’s how it was to majority of the Flyers fans.”

    • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      oh you’re a wrastlin’ fan. that explains it.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Is there a problem that I was once a wrestling fan? If there is then by all means please enlighten me.

    • mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      I disagree. Cheese steaks are the best thing to come out of philly… But ECW is up there, too

    • flyerspsu - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      best things to come out of Philly:

      Cheesesteaks, Rocky, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

  9. mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Flyers fans…. Has anyone else noticed B Schenn is finding his game?! He has looked pretty solid and is starting to find his scoring touch. I don’t think he has gotten the credit he deserves. Everything else has overshadowed him lately…. Roo’s goal drought, the downie trade, emery .fighting, vinny and harts being hurt…. Nobody is giving props to Schenn

    • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      idk, it always looks to me like he’s relying too much on what his linemates are doing. I’ve still seen nothing to show that he can be the leader of a line and make things happen when the other guys aren’t.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        that part of his game kinda reminds me of Jeff Carter. he doesn’t have the shooting ability Carter does, but Carter didn’t seem to ever do well unless Richards was.

      • mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        I see what you’re saying but he is lined up with vinny and vinny isthe leader of that line. I see it as a good tthing for Schenn bc the pressure is off of him to ‘lead’. He was under a ton of pressure bc of all his hype coming over with that big trade. Having vinny lead that line takes the pressure off of him and lets him play and develop his game. That’s just my opinion but I think that’s what we are seeing happen

      • mcphillthy - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        I hope he is nothing like Carter. What a waste of talent. If Carter had balls to get in front of the net and play some dirty hockey he would have been a beast… But he was too worried about looking pretty. It’s sad. He has the potential to do great things but has no heart. That’s why I hated him

  10. zta7991 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    its nice to see some civility when it comes to this game…it is one of the best rivalry in all of sports. the thing I have noticed about brayden schenns game that has changed this year is that he is more involved in the physical game…he seems to be finishing most of his checks and has been camping out in front of the net on the PP to get the dirty goals…I think his upside is very high as a complimentary player…I don’t see him being a captain or even an alternate on any team but i see him being a 20-30 goal scorer per year

    • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      well his checking, surprisingly, has always been there. believe it or not, he seemed to check more/harder last year. but yeah his net presence is improving.

    • hockey412 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      I agree with Ibieniid that his physical game was there last year – I have no right commenting as a Pens fan but I always thought Schenn could be much more dangerous if he wasn’t always behind the damn play because he decided to finish off a check well after the puck was gone. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with finishing the check and wearing down the other team, as long as you understand when to do it and when not to – it DOES take you out of the play if the puck is gone. This is going to sound like sacrilege to a Flyers fan, but in my (miserably unathletic and hopelessly uneducated) opinion, in order for Schenn to be a 30 goal scorer he’ll have to play a (gulp) less physical game. or at least a smarter physical game.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        lol sticking him on Simmonds’ line for most of last year didn’t help the intense, always-on-em mentality either.

  11. antmel30 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    We can start did malkin score yet 10 and counting. I can’t wait for gm but seriously I hope it’s competetive. Good luck to both more luck to flyers. Love to hate pens but in good fun. Hopefully rivalry is renewed to heated hatred. Hope the flyers show up and don’t sleep tgrough this one. Here’s to a great sport and gm.

    • hockey412 - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Ohhhhh great GAME, you mean….I thought you were saying great GM….I almost peed

  12. steelers88 - Nov 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I personally don’t feel like the Flyers are the Penguins biggest rival anymore I feel like it’s the Bruins. At least until the Flyers get good again.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Nov 13, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Did you just start watching Hockey last season?…..This is the biggest rivalry in Hockey for the last few seasons!

    • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Honest question here,if the lightning sweep the pens in the playoffs this year would you consider them the pens biggest rivals?

  13. steelers88 - Nov 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    It might still be a rivalry for the Flyers fans, but I’d rather have the Penguins beat the Bruins than beat the Flyers. The bruins/Penguins rivalry in my mind has become even bigger than the Flyers. By the way I could really care less about Penguins regular season games. Yes I still watch them and root them on, buy it’s all about the Playoffs.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Jeez are you serious?….So you only care when they make the playoffs?……That is sad!….Hell i not only watch Flyers games but any game that might be on….I guess that’s why you are a Pens fan and the rest of us Hockey fans!

    • curioustraveler13 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Funny we could really care less about your comments.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        “Spoken like a true novice fan”……I guess you dont remember that!

  14. steelers88 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    No not really I just feel like the Bruins/Penguins rivalry right now is at an all time high. Did you guys see the Wednesday night rivalry game two weeks ago? It was a playoff type game between the Bruins and Penguins. It was an intense physical game. Right now I feel like the Flyers/Penguins rivalry is still a good rivalry but it’s not as good as two years ago.

  15. apittsburgher - Nov 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Always a great game when these two meet. LETS GO PENS !

  16. LampyB - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Whammy you’re incessant reference of filthy is unoriginal and old. Generally those that heavily throw insults need to overcompensate, or prove some sort of self worth via the only method they know.

    Were you verbally abused as a child? Is this all you know how to do? Feel bad for you man, life must be depressing.

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