MORNING SKATE BUZZ
FLYERS (13-16-1, 27 pts) @ PENGUINS (24-8-0, 48 pts)
The Penguins look to extend their winning streak to 12 games tonight against their cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers and hit the 50 point plateau.
The Flyers fighting for their playoff lives, are five points out of the last playoff spot in the East and they are reaching the point in the season where they have to start putting together some long winning streaks to salvage the season. That appears to be a difficult task for the Flyers who have only won two games in a row once since February 7th and have not had a winning streak this season of more than two games.
The Flyers come in a fresh team last playing Monday night vs the Tampa Bay Lightning, a 4-2 loss. Philadelphia the past two seasons have snapped Penguin winning streaks of 12 and 11 games.
All signs point to Evgeni Malkin not playing tonight. Malkin has missed the Penguins last seven games due to a shoulder injury but has been skating with the team since early this week.
Both sides smartly are being cautious with him. If tonight was the playoffs, Malkin would be able to play.
Defenseman Kris Letang was also an extra in the skate and is dealing with a nagging left leg injury that has bothered him since early in the season. Letang, though, is skating very well, showing power in his legs. He doesn’t appear limited one bit skating wise. Of the two, I think there might be a chance Letang gets the go ahead to play tonight.
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Bennett – Jeffrey – Neal
Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
Glass – Viale – Adams
Orpik – Martin
Eaton – Niskanen
Despres – Engelland
Letang – Bortuzzo (Extras)
POWER PLAY UNITS
1st Unit: Kunitz – Neal – Crosby
Martin – Niskanen
Likely Scratches Tonight: Malkin (IR), Letang, Smith, Bortuzzo
Notes: Trevor Smith remains up with the team for now and skated as an extra forward…… Tyler Kennedy is a full participant and expected to play…..Flyers forward Danny Briere hurt his wrist in Saturday’s practice and is not expected to play tonight.