A preview of the Flyers.
When and where: 1 p.m., Mellon Arena.
TV: FSN Pittsburgh, CSN Philadelphia.
Record: 37-31-6, 80 points. The Flyers are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and third place in the Atlantic Division.
Leading Scorer: Jeff Carter, 60 points (33 goals, 27 assists).
Last Game: 4-3 overtime home loss to the Wild, Thursday. Brian Boucher made 17 saves for the Flyers.
Last Game against the Penguins: 2-1 home loss, Jan. 24. Sergei Gonchar had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Matt Cooke was accused of biting Philadelphia's Arron Asham.
Flyers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Since we can't go with our stand-by pick of Jeff Carter, we'll goe with Winston Churchill Mike Richards. He has six points (one goal, five assists) in five games against the Penguins this season.
Ex-Penguins on the Flyers: Daniel Carcillo, LW (Carcillo only fomerly played with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins); Kevin McCarthy, assistant coach; Joe Mullen, assistant coach.
Ex-Flyers on the Penguins: Mark Eaton, D; Ruslan Fedotenko (above), LW; Kevin Stevens, professional scout.
Useless Flyers Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Three former Penguins have served as the Flyers' captain. Lou Agnotti (who was also a Penguins coach), Rick Tocchet, Ed Van Impe.
Best Flyers YouTube Video We Could Find: In honor of what could be the Flyers' final visit to Mellon Arena. An oldie but a goodie. Ron Hextall chasing Robbie Brown:
Second Best Flyers YouTube Video We Could FInd: Mario Lemieux's "final" goal before his first retirement in 1997:
(We know neither one of those are "good" videos for the Flyers, but... they're the Flyers. Nuts to them.)
-Marc-Andre Fleury (33-19-6, 2.66 GAA, .906 SV%) and Johan Backlund (21-17-2, 2.79 GAA, .906 SV% in the AHL) are your expected starters in net.
-For the Penguins, forward Evgeni Malkin (foot) is doubtful. Defenseman Sergei Gonchar (illness) is questionable. Goaltender Brent Johnson (illness) is probable.
-For the Flyers, goaltenders Ray Emery (hip), Michael Leighton (ankle) and forward Jeff Carter (foot) are on injured reserve. Defenseman Matt Carle (foot) is day to day.
-The Penguins' lines in practice yesterday looked like this (PG+):
Alexei Ponikarovsky-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Chris Kunitz-Jordan Staal-Bill Guerin
Matt Cooke-Tyler Kennedy-Ruslan Fedotenko
Mike Rupp-Max Talbot-Craig Adams
-"You always like playing the Flyers." - Dan Bylsma.
-Don't expect to see Evgeni Malkin this afternoon.
-Matt Cooke and Mike Richards (right) were each featured prominently on the NHL's edcuational video regarding its new rules on headshots (PG+).
-If the Penguins get a point or if the Thrashers fail to get two points in Carolina tonight, the Penguins clinch a playoff spot.
-Craig Adams has 99 career points.
-Carter is will have a screw permanently inserted into his foot.
-This might be the cure-all for the Penguins. Backlund is making his NHL debut.
-Assuming they don't meet in the postseason, this will be the Flyers final visit to Civic/Mellon Arena. The Penguins' longest-lasting and most bitter rival, the Flyers have an all-time record of 49-61-25 in the arena.
-The Flyers' first game at Mellon Arena was a 1-1 tie, Nov. 8, 1967. Following a scoreless first period, the Flyers took a lead in the second against their expansion brothers when Bill Sutherland beat Penguins goaltender Les Binkley at 4:10 of the period. Future Penguins coach Lou Angotti recorded the only assist. The Penguins tied it at 15:08 of the third period when captain Ab McDonald scored a power play goal against Philadelphia's Bernie Parent (right) off a rebound from an Andy Bathgate shot. Bathgate and Bill Speer recorded assists. Flyers defenseman and future Penguin Ed Van Impe was in the box for interference during the goal, his third penalty of the game. At the time, he led the NHL with 39 penalty minutes (if you can dare imagining something like that happening to a Flyer). Binkley made 33 saves while Parent stopped 41 shots.
-What was probably the most memorable game of this rivalry took place in the 2000 playoffs at Mellon Arena. In what is still the third-longest game in NHL history, the Flyers beat the Penguins, 2-1, in five overtimes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, May 4, 2000. Alex Kovalev gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 2:22 of the first period he he put a slap shot from the slot over the glove hand of then-rookie goaltender Brian Boucher. Robert Lang had the only assist. The Flyers tied it at 4:47 in the third when future Penguin John Leclair re-directed a slapper from the point by Eric Desjardins past Ron Tugnutt. Desjardins and Daymond Langkow recorded assists. A video review to examine if LeClair touched the puck with a high stick was inconclusive. Tugnutt complained: "He [LeClair] is 6-foot-3, and his stick was above his head." Several hours later, at 12:08 of the game's eighth period, Flyers forward Keith Primeau made a dazzling move off the right wing to beat defenseman Darius Kasparaitis and roofed a wrister to the near side which Tugnutt over his glove hand.
-The numbers from the game are staggering:
- It ended at 2:35 a.m., EDT, exactly seven hours after it started.
- Tugnutt made a franchise record 70 saves. And lost.
- Boucher "only" made 57 saves.
- Officially, the game lasted 92 minutes and one second.
- Flyers defenseman Dan McGillis led all skaters with 61:05 of ice time.
- Despite coming into the game with an illness, captain Jaromir Jagr led the Penguins with 59:08.
- The Flyers won 84 faceoffs and lost 75.
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(Photo: Fedotenko-Chris Gardner/Associated Press; Richards-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Parent-eBay)