Post-Morning Skate Update & Tidbits
— The Philadelphia Flyers (16-7-3, 35 pts) have a chance to surpass the Penguins (16-8-4, 36 pts) for the best record in the Eastern Conference tonight.
Coming off a 5-4 come from behind OT win last night vs Buffalo, Philadelphia has won three straight and entering tonight’s game averaging a league best 3.58 goals per game.
— Deryk Engelland participated in today’s morning skate but won’t play tonight vs the Flyers, which was the expectation yesterday. There will be no changes on the blueline.
— Forward Richard Park remains day to day with a lower body injury and won’t be an option to play tonight.
— Tonight the Penguins will be without Sidney Crosby for the 62nd time in the team’s last 70 regular season games. The Penguins are 34-19-8 in their previous 61 games without Crosby. All-time, the Penguins are 55-30-15 in games Crosby has missed due to injury since the 2005-2006 season.
— Claude Giroux with a four point game last night, leads the NHL with 36 points going into tonight’s action.
— Former Penguin Jaromir Jagr faces the Penguins for the first time since the second round of the 2008 playoffs when he was a member of the New York Rangers. Jagr netted his 9th goal of the season last night vs Buffalo and has 22 points in 22 games, averaging a point per game. Jagr is also averaging a point per game in his career vs Penguins: 17 Goals – 19 Assists – 36 Points in 36 career games vs Pittsburgh.
— Former Penguin Max Talbot scored his 7th goal of the season last night and is tied for 6th on the team in goals.
— Evgeni Malkin has just 1 assist in his last three games. Malkin though has performed extremely well against the Flyers in his career, collecting 17 goals and 43 points in 30 career games vs Flyers.
— Defenseman Paul Martin is a +4 in his last 11 games and is averaging 28:35 of ice time over his last three games.
— Matt Niskanen’s +9 rating ranks 13th among all defensemen in the NHL.
— Rookie defenseman Simon Despres has seen an increase in ice time, every game he has played in, collecting 13:32 of ice time vs the Bruins Monday night.
Pens Injury Buzz
Out for the Penguins Tonight: Sidney Crosby (headaches), Kris Letang (concussion), Zbynek Michalek (concussion), Richard Park (leg), Deryk Engelland (lower body) | Dustin Jeffrey (knee), Brian Strait (elbow), Ben Lovejoy (wrist) are all on injured reserve……The Penguins have 126 man games lost this season.
Sullivan – Malkin – Neal
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Kunitz – Vitale – Dupuis
MacIntyre – Adams – Asham
Orpik – Bortuzzo
Despres – Martin
Picard – Niskanen
Marc Andre Fleury in goal | Fleury is 20-10-0 all-time vs Flyers