Fasten Your Seatbelts, Penguins Game 55 vs. Flyers: Lines, Notes & How to Watch


Pick your reason that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers is a huge one.

It’s the latest in the long, snarly rivalry between the cross-state teams. It’s a Metropolitan Division showdown. It’s on national TV. Oh, and it’s the latest must-win for the Penguins as they face an uphill challenge to try to squeeze into the playoffs. They trail the third-place Flyers by nine points but have four games in hand.

The Penguins (25-21-8) are coming off a 4-1 win Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens. The Flyers (30-21-7) lost Saturday to the New York Rangers 2-1.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 3:30 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The Penguins sit nine points behind the Flyers, who have a precarious hold on third in the Metro, with four games in hand. The Penguins also would have to pass three teams to reach the second Eastern Conference wildcard spot.

A 5-8-4 stretch before Thursday’s win might have been enough to spell a second straight season with no playoffs for the Penguins. At the very least, from here on out every win could offer a sliver of hope, and every loss could be crushing.

This game wraps up a four-game homestand. The Penguins are 1-1-1 so far, but the betting sites still like the Penguins’ today (-172).

The Penguins could have a new face in the lineup Sunday. Winger Emil Bemstrom, acquired last week by president of hockey operations and general manager Kyle Dubas in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets, could make his black and gold debut.

Saturday, Bemstrom practiced on the third line and with the second power-play group.

Read more:

Molinari: Bemstrom Be the One to Give Penguins an Offensive Boost?

Kingerski: Struggles, It’s Time to Take Away Jobs

The Flyers are 1-2-1 since a four-game winning streak, which followed a five-game losing streak, which came after a five-game winning streak.

Streak much?

Philadelphia could get its leading scorer back. Travis Konecny, who left Friday’s practice because of an upper-body injury, sat out the loss against the Rangers and is considered day-to-day.

The Flyers got winger Tyson Foerster back Saturday after he missed four games because of a right foot injury, and he scored the lone goal against the Rangers.

Expected Penguins Lines

Rickard Rakell-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Drew O’Connor-Evgeni Malkin-Valtteri Puustinem

Reilly Smith-Lars Eller-Emil Bemstrom

Jansen Harkins-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter

Defense

P.O Joseph-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson

John Ludvig/Ryan Graves-Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies

Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Flyers Lines

Owen Tippett-Sean Couturier-Cam Atkinson

Joel Farabee-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny

Noah Cates-Ryan Poehling-Garnet Hathaway

Tyson Foerster-Scott Laughton

Defense

Cam York-Travis Sanheim

Nick Seeler-Sean Walker

Marc Staal-Jamie Drysdale

Egor Zamula

Goalies

Samuel Errson

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 13.9%, 30th

Penguins penalty killing: 82.4%, 9th

Flyers power play: 13.0%, 31st

Flyers penalty killing: 86.9%, 2nd

Penguins Game Notes

Philadelphia won both halves of a home-and-home in early December, with the Penguins picking up a point in each game. The Flyers won 4-3 in a shootout in Pittsburgh and 2-1 in overtime in Philadelphia.

The Penguins subsequently won in Philadelphia 4-1 on Jan. 8.

This is the final meeting of the season series.

Sidney Crosby has 125 points (54 goals, 71 assists) in 86 career games against the Flyers. His goal and point totals are the most in NHL history against Philadelphia.

Evgeni Malkin has 88 points (30 goals, 58 assists) in 73 career games against Philadelphia.

Kris Letang has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in his past 12 games against the Flyers, and his plus-36 in his career against Philadelphia is second all-time only to Bobby Orr (plus-37).

Drew O’Connor has a goal in back-to-back games and has five points over the past five games.

Bryan Rust has four goals over the past six games and five over the past seven.

How to Watch

TV: TNT

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also, visit our sister site, Hockey Now

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