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Weekend preview: Flyers-Pens rivalry renewed, Bruins look to stay hot

Mar 14, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT

Crosby and Giroux Getty Images

A quick look ahead at some of the narratives at play this weekend…

Keystone state clash

It’s going to be a big 48 hours in Pennsylvania as the Flyers and Penguins play back-to-back games this Saturday and Sunday. The first affair will go at Wells Fargo (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET), where the two teams have already met once this season — a 4-1 Penguins win, in which Sidney Crosby notched 1G-1A while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 25 shots for the  victory.

On Sunday, the two teams will meet at Consol Energy Center (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC), where the Flyers have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success over the last three regular seasons. Philly is 4-1-1 in the last six head-to-head matchups in Pittsburgh and has been led by young forward Brayden Schenn, who has five points in the six games.

Streaking B’s

The NHL’s hottest team out of the Olympic break — the Boston Bruins — will look to stay scorching this weekend when they host the Hurricanes at TD Garden on Saturday.

Boston has won seven straight and is 7-1-1 since players returned from the Winter Games in Sochi, collecting 15 of a possible 18 points to open up a massive lead in the Atlantic Division.

Consider this: heading into the Olympic break, the B’s had 78 points, seven clear of second-place Tampa Bay in the division.

Now, Boston has 93 points and is 13 up on second-place Toronto.


— The latest installment of the Freeway Faceoff will go in Los Angeles on Saturday, when the Kings host the Ducks. These two heated California rivals are headed in opposite directions at the moment, as the Ducks are 3-5-2 over their last 10 games while the Kings are 8-2-0 over the same span. The third Cali-based team, San Jose, will be keeping a close eye on this tilt as the Sharks enter the weekend tied on points with the Ducks for top spot in the Pacific Division, with 93.

— On Sunday night, NBCSN brings the latest installment of the Detroit-Chicago rivalry (7:30 p.m. ET). This will be a rematch of last year’s classic Western Conference semifinal playoff, in which the ‘Hawks rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Wings in overtime of Game 7.

  1. sjsharks66 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    PHT’s comments section is going to be a mess this weekend. Haha

    • c9castine - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Nostradamus over here 😉

      Flyers beat the penguins in their first game played in console energy center…ever since then we have a hard time beating them at home. But we are starting to get the gears turning and played Two strong games against the Caps so I think much like Washington the flyers are running into the pens at the wrong time…

      We’ll see. I am all for a bitter rivalry bot hopefully both teams can keep it to a semi respectable hockey game. I really don’t want see another one of our players go down playing a borderline playoff team in mid march.

      • flyerspsu - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        fortunately Neal wont be playing so that right there will lessen the chance of late, blindside headshots, his forte

      • c9castine - Mar 14, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        Lol yeah flyers don’t do any of that.

    • upper90cheese - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      2 Penguins come down with the Philly Flu.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      yeah, and you’ll probably be the one starting all the sh**, per usual.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        (sorry, had to get it started a little early)

  2. jpelle82 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    the bruins/penguins race to the top in the east will be interesting to watch…its about as close as it gets and both teams have played much better at home than on the road this year…the implications are huge for whoever finishes #2 if they meet in the conf finals again. both have very similar schedules. too bad they dont play each other again – schedule makers should make sure that doesnt happen moving forward. should be a lock for them to play each other the last week of the season every year

    • c9castine - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Yeah pens currently on a 1 pt pace lead…and both teams are heating up.

      I feel like the two teams haven’t played each other since like, early November or something. That seems silly.

    • nunan - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      I kind of like it though…bc if they meet again in the playoffs, it makes the match up that much more enticing. We know they don’t like each other and we know what happened last year and what happened the last time they played this season…and now we’ll be seeing them play in a do or die situation. In other words, from a fan’s perspective, it’s like “finally! Bruins and Pens.”

  3. joey4id - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Come Monday morning we can see a three way tie between the Wings, Devils, and Flyers for 2 wild card spots.

    Besides the playoffs this dog fight to make the playoffs is the best hockey of the season. Thank you Mr. Bettman for making the NHL as competitive and balanced has it has ever been. Cost certainty and competitive balance is working out just fine.

  4. neonpep - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Let’s go Flyers!

  5. mornelithe - Mar 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Make that 8 in a row for the B’s, hat tip to the Flyers for helping the B’s take sole possession in the East.

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