Published on January 19th, 2013 | by James Conley0
Penguins Precap 1 – Philadelphia Flyers
Been awhile, hasn’t it?
Pittsburgh takes on Philadelphia in one of two season-opening contests Saturday. The Kings will raise their Cup banner in front of home fans before hosting the Blackhawks.
This is all you need to know.
That’s Pittsburgh’s penalty killing percentage in six playoff games against the Flyers last April. They killed 11 of 23 chances. The Flyers scored half their goals on special teams. They even dumped in three shorthanded markers.
If the Pens can’t keep themselves out of the box or, failing that, the puck out of their own net, Saturday will be deja vu city.
There are some notable differences since the last time the teams met. Gone are Zbynek Michalek, Jordan Staal and Steve Sullivan, and Jaromir Jagr, Matt Carle and James van Riemsdyk. The Penguins acquired Brandon Sutter, the Flyers Luke Schenn. Danny Briere will be out with a wrist injury. The Penguins are healthy from top to bottom.
Here’s a guess at the Pens lines. No clue how the defense will pair out.
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Tangradi – Malkin – Neal
Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
Glass – Adams – Jeffrey
Letang – Niskanen
Orpik – Martin
Engelland – Despres
Hard to imagine a mid-January game as part of a playoff chase, but it is. The Pens face the Flyers only four times this season. Every game means just a little more.