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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 1 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (30-29-17) at Pittsburgh Penguins (42-23-11), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins try to secure sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division on Wednesday evening when they play host to the rival Philadelphia Flyers.
The Penguins have followed up a 1-5-1 stretch with consecutive wins over Arizona and San Jose, putting them in a tie with the New York Islanders in the division standings. Both clubs have 95 points, but the Pens will use a game in hand over the idle Isles tonight.
Pittsburgh's penalty kill came up big in a 3-2 shootout win over San Jose on Sunday. Patrick Hornqvist took a four-minute hi-stick penalty early in overtime, but Marc-Andre Fleury capped his 30-save night with four stops on the Sharks' power play.
Fleury was then perfect in the shootout, while Sidney Crosby and David Perron tallied for the Pens.
"It was a close, tight game, but the penalty kill made the difference," said Penguins coach Mike Johnston.
Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz scored 56 seconds apart in the first period as the Penguins also overcame dressing only five defensemen due to a concussion suffered by Kris Letang on Saturday versus the Coyotes.
The Flyers had hosted the Sharks a day earlier than the Pens and lost a 3-2 shootout, with San Jose's Brent Burns beating Steve Mason with a backhander in the fifth round.
Mason ended with 42 saves, with Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux having the regulation goals in the Flyers' ninth loss in 11 games (2-4-5).
Raffl, who has scored in three straight games, hit the 20-goal mark for the first time, while Giroux has a goal in four straight and points in five in a row.
"He's good at getting to the net and getting shots through. Raffy is real good in the corners and at winning those battles, so when you play with a player like that it's fun," Giroux said of his Austrian line mate.
Individual accomplishments are about all the Flyers have left this season as they have been mathematically eliminated from the postseason. Forward Jakub Voracek, who had two assists versus the Sharks, is looking to become the first Flyer to win the Art Ross Trophy and trails Crosby's league-leading 79 points by three.
Voracek has seven assists over his last four games and has logged 10 goals and 23 points in 22 career games versus the Pens. Crosby has a staggering 30 goals and 45 assists for 75 points in 50 games against the Flyers.
Philadelphia will be without defenseman Luke Schenn for the rest of the regular season due to a lower-body injury as he joins forward Wayne Simmonds (broken left foot) and defenseman Andrew MacDonald (broken right hand) as Flyers to recently suffer season-ending injuries.
The Flyers have won six in a row versus the Penguins overall as well as four straight and 10 of their past 12 in Pittsburgh.
Mason is 4-2-1 with a 2.55 goals against average and .919 save percentage versus the Pens, while Fleury has logged a 24-16-2 mark, 2.88 GAA and .900 save percentage in his career versus the Flyers.
04/01 10:33:43 ET