Penguins vs. Flyers Game Preview
Saturday, 10.16.2010 / 2:30 AM / Features
By Jason Seidling
Oct 16, 2010 - 6:00 pm | WHERE:
Wells Fargo Center
FSN | LISTEN:
Pens HD Radio, 105.9 FM
Through the first week of the 2010-11 regular season it’s the defending Eastern Conference champion Flyers holding the pole position in the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia’s fast start has been led by Danny Briere, who has a team-best three goals – including the first official goal at CONSOL Energy Center – and rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who brings a 2-0 record, 2.00 goals-against average and .931 save percentage into Saturday’s contest. Bobrovsky stopped 29 of 31 shots against Pittsburgh on opening night.
Unlike the season opener, the Flyers will have all-world defenseman Chris Pronger in the lineup for this matchup. Pronger, who had led his teams to the Stanley Cup Final in three of the past five seasons, missed the first two games of this season with a right knee injury.
- The Flyers’ home changed names this offseason from the Wachovia Center to the Wells Fargo Center, but the Penguins hope the recent success they have enjoyed their doesn’t change. Over the past two seasons Pittsburgh is 5-1 at Philadelphia, including a perfect 3-0 mark last year.
- Pittsburgh has won five-straight contests in Philadelphia, with the Flyers last victory over the Penguins occurring on Dec. 13, 2008 (6-3). Including the postseason, the Penguins are 7-1 at the Wells Fargo Center since their last regular-season loss.
- Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma earned his first NHL road victory at the Well Fargo Center on Feb. 21, 2009 when Sidney Crosby’s late tally gave the Penguins a 5-4 victory. Under Bylsma, the Penguins are 4-0 all-time in the regular season in Philadelphia.
- The Flyers enter Saturday’s game with the NHL’s fifth-rated penalty killing unit. Philadelphia has killed off 21 of 23 opponent power plays. The Penguins went 1-for-5 against the Flyers on the man-advantage on opening night.
Fleury Continuing His Philly Success:
- On the flip side, Philadelphia’s power play has began the season ice cold, scoring just once on 17 chances for a 5.9 success rate that ranks 27th in the NHL.
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
loves playing the Flyers. In 29 career games against Philadelphia, Fleury has posted a 19-7 record. In fact, some of the best games of Fleury’s career have come at the Wells Fargo Center, including his 45-save coming out party on Nov. 16, 2005 and his 45-stop masterpiece in Game 4 of the 2009 Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Take the Body on the D:
Philadelphia is always regarded as one of the most physical teams in the NHL, yet through Friday’s games it is the Penguins who pace the league in hits with 131. Over the past couple of seasons, the Penguins have done a great job of working over the Flyers defense, particularly Kimmo Timonen.
C Jordan Staal
, foot (indefinitely)
F Arron Asham
, upper body (2 weeks)
D Zbynek Michalek
, upper body (2 to 4 weeks)
D Brooks Orpik
, groin strain (day-to-day)
G Michael Leighton, bulging disk in back (indefinitely)
F Ian Lapiererre, post-concussion syndrome (indefinitely)
D Matt Walker, groin (day-to-day)
James van Riemsdyk
F - #21
3 Points • Emerging 21-year-old power forward sparked the Flyers’ dramatic Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals with the opening goal, and was a physical factor all night in the victory.
• Posted his first career two-goal night against the Penguins on Jan. 7 at Mellon Arena, including the game-winning tally.
• Middletown, N.J. native was the No. 2-overall selection by the Flyers in the 2007 Entry Draft. Claude Giroux
C - #28
3 Points • Twenty-two-year-old center is developing into one of the top two-way centers in the game, improving his point total by 20 (27 to 47) last season in his first full NHL campaign.
• Has proven to be a postseason star for the Flyers, recording 26 points (12G-14A) in 29 games the past two seasons.
• Excellent penalty killer leads the NHL with two shorthanded goals, including a huge marker against the Penguins on opening night. Sergei Bobrovsky
G - #35
.931 SVP • Rookie netminder validated his strong opening-net performance versus the Penguins by stopping 25 of 27 shots to defeat the Avalanche on Oct. 11.
• Earned a roster spot in Michael Leighton’s absence by turning in a stellar preseason that included a 3-0-1 record, 1.76 goals-against average and .939 save percentage.
• Spent the past two seasons playing professionally for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the Kontinental Hockey League. The Penguins travel across the commonwealth to the City of Brotherly Love hoping to exact some revenge on the archrival Philadelphia Flyers after the orange-and-black spoiled the home opener at CONSOL Energy Center by defeating the Penguins, 3-2.
- Eric Tangradi
heads across the state to play his hometown team riding a high note after notching his first career NHL goal in Friday night’s 3-2 overtime defeat of the New York Islanders. Tangradi, 21, has posted points in two of his past three contests (1G-1A) and has been winning his share of puck battles along the boards and behind the net as he gets more and more acclimated to the NHL.
- Last spring, Briere helped carry the Flyers to a Stanley Cup Final appearance, leading all scorers in the postseason with 30 points (12G-18A). He has continued his scoring streak through the first week of the regular season, leading the Flyers with three goals through their first four games, including the first official goal at CONSOL Energy Center on opening night.