The Flyers travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins in the final game of Philadelphia’s
six-game road trip in a matchup of two Atlantic division rivals.
The Flyers (7-9-1) come into Wednesday’s contest fresh off of a humbling, 7-0 victory
over the New York Islanders on Monday, a game that saw the team in complete control from start to finish. The Islanders only managed to make nineteen shots on Ilya Bryzgalov, who stop every single one for his first shutout of the season.
Flyers Captain Claude Giroux was among those to break out in a big way after the Center delivered a pre-game speech to his players that demanded more from everyone, including himself, in light of the team’s poor play as of late. Giroux scored two goals and added an assist for his first three-point game of the season.
RW Jakub Voracek had four assists in the game, and C Danny Briere scored two third
period goals for the Flyers, who had two three-goal periods against the Islanders. Matt Read added three points of his own. The team was averaging 2.4 goals per game going into the contest.
The Atlantic division-leading Penguins (11-5-0) enter play on a three-game win streak after pulling out a close victory over the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, on Sunday. RW Pascal Dupris led the charge with two goals for a Pittsburgh team that ranks fifth in the NHL in goals per game at 3.4.
The last time the two teams met, the Penguins defeated the Flyers 3-1 in a matchup
that saw the Flyers get bullied early. The Penguins held the Flyers offense in check while making the most out of their scoring chances, scoring twice on Bryzgalov in the first quarter, the only two goals he would allow all game. Giroux scored the only Flyers goal in that contest.
Marc-Andre Fleury was big for Pittsburgh, stopping the Flyers on twenty-six of twenty-seven shots to pick up the win. There had been a lot of scrutiny surrounding the goalie at the time, following his allowing twenty-six goals in six games in last year’s 4-2 conference quarterfinals loss to Philadelphia.
This is a big game for a Flyers team that desperately needs to get on a hot streak to avoid missing the playoffs in a year where much has been expected of them. Monday’s victory showed just what the team can do when they are firing on all cylinders, and a divisional win would be huge for them now. Philadelphia is
currently fourth in the division at fifteen points, two points behind the
third-place New York Rangers and seven points behind first-place Pittsburgh.