Talbot And Jagr To Face Old Friends
Fresh off an overtime win in Buffalo, the Philadelphia Flyers (16-7-3) will be back at Wells Fargo Center tonight to host their cross state rivals, the much-maligned Pittsburgh Penguins (16-8-4).
The rivalry was elevated this offseason when the Flyers signed former Penguins Jaromir Jagr and Maxime Talbot. Both players played integral roles on Penguins cup winning teams and will forever be etched in Pittsburgh Penguins history.
Pittsburgh fans will never forget the Jaromir Jagr-Mario Lemeuix era as they electrified crowds night after night.
This season though, there will be no love for Jagr.
Talbot's legend came in the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, specifically Game 7 where he scored two goals, leading the Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
This is the first of six meetings between these two teams.
Last season, they played each other three times in the first month. The Flyers won four of the six meetings and won all three in Pittsburgh.
With the overtime win last night the Flyers have pulled one point of the Penguins in the Atlantic Division.
That means the winner of tonight’s game will take over sole possession of first place.
The Penguins have had some success in Philadelphia in the past five years (22-12) and have won seven of their last nine at Wells Fargo Center.
An interesting matchup in tonight's game is in special teams.
The Pens are third in the league on the penalty kill with an 88.7% rate but do not have the same success on the road (84.8%). They are 15-3-3 when they do not allow a power play goal and are 1-5-1 when they do.
Sidney Crosby is one matchup the Flyers will not have to worry about tonight as he has suffered an upper body injury and did not accompany the team on this trip.
The Penguins have been playing in a Crosby-free lineup since last season (61 games) and have fared well (34-19-8). This season the Penguins are 11-6-3 with Crosby on the shelf.
The Flyers will need to solve Marc-Andre Fleury (14-5-2-2). He is sporting a 2.16 goals against average with a .921 save percentage. His 14 victories are second in the league behind Jimmy Howard (15) of the Detroit Red Wings.
Fleury typically has good games when he faces the Flyers (20-10); his 20 wins are the most he has versus any one team in the league.
At the Wells Fargo Center he is 10-4 lifetime with a 2.86 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. Will the highest scoring team in the NHL be able to add to these numbers?
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