Flyers, Pens clash in Pittsburgh
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to avoid their second three-game slide of the season when they welcome the rival Philadelphia Flyers for Wednesday's Metropolitan Division battle at CONSOL Energy Center.
Pittsburgh has lost two straight in regulation, marking just the second time this season the club has dropped consecutive games. The Penguins only three- game slide came during an 0-3-0 stretch from Oct. 21-26.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, enters Wednesday's clash on a two-game winning streak, marking just the second time this season the club has earned consecutive wins. The Flyers also picked up their most impressive victory of the season on Tuesday, posting a 5-0 decision at Ottawa.
The Flyers hope to keep the offense headed in the right direction in Pittsburgh. The club has only scored more than two goals on three occasions this season, but two of those instances came during this two-game win streak.
Philadelphia dominated the Senators on Tuesday, outshooting Ottawa by a 31-24 margin and recording two power-play goals on three chances.
Steve Mason stopped all 24 shots to record his first shutout in a Flyers sweater and the 20th of his career. Mason distinguished himself as the second Flyers goaltender to record a shutout in Ottawa. John Vanbiesbrouck was the only other one to accomplish the feat with 36 saves in a 5-0 decision on Jan. 18, 1999.
Jakub Voracek tallied twice, with Brayden Schenn, Matt Read and Vincent Lecavalier scoring once each for the Flyers.
"I think we kind of got back to the basics," Read said. "We're just winning puck battles along the boards and those little things turn into victories."
Philadelphia improved to 3-3-1 on the road with Tuesday's win. The club is playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight and will complete the swing Friday in Winnipeg.
Mason could get the start on back-to-back nights in Wednesday's game. He is 2-2-1 with a 3.18 goals against average in five career games against Pittsburgh. Ray Emery is 1-2-0 with a 2.70 GAA versus the Pens.
The Penguins lead the Metro with 22 points, but have been outscored by a combined 7-2 margin during their current two-game slide. Dan Bylsma's team was handed a 5-1 road defeat last Wednesday by the New York Rangers and then fell 2-1 in regulation in Saturday's test at St. Louis.
Pittsburgh hopes to get back on track tonight against a Flyers team that has lost three straight in this series. The Penguins earned a 4-1 win in Philadelphia back on Oct. 17, giving them five victories in the past seven meetings during the regular season. The Flyers also have dropped two of their last three in the Steel City.
A return home could also benefit the Penguins on Wednesday, as the club is 7-2-0 as the host this season compared to a 4-4-0 mark on the road. Beginning with tonight's contest, Pittsburgh will play two straight and three of four at CONSOL Energy Center.
The Pens were held to just one goal for the second straight game on Saturday, dropping a defensive battle against the Blues. Kevin Shattenkirk netted the deciding goal in the middle stages of the third period for St. Louis in the 2-1 decision at Scottrade Center.
Jussi Jokinen registered the lone score for the Penguins, who received 30 stops from Marc-Andre Fleury in the loss.
"It's not the outcome we wanted...but it's a step in the right direction," Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland said.
Pittsburgh defenseman Paul Martin sat out the last game with an unspecified injury and is questionable for Wednesday's tilt.
11/13 14:14:05 ET