On Saturday night, The Coors Light NHL Stadium Series takes us to Pittsburgh, PA for the 314th renewal of a bitter rivalry. It’s known as The Battle for The Keystone; the Penguins and the Flyers.
This is the 1st time this rivalry will be played in an outdoor setting. Both teams have experience, however, playing in outdoor games. This is the 4th outdoor game for the Penguins and the 3rd for the Flyers.
Penguins Season to this point:
The defending champs come into this game, with a mark of 37-14-8 = 82 points. They have the 3rd most points in the league and tied with The Blue Jackets for the 5th most wins in the league.
They are leading of course by the Big 3 of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin & Phil Kessel, who have combined for 79 goals, 103 assists = 182 points. They account for 33% of the Penguins offense this year.
However, the Penguins attack this year is much more than just the Big 3. Patrik Hornqvist and Conor Sheary combined have 34 goals, 36 assists, and a +37. Ian Cole and Justin Schultz(Yes, that Justin Schultz) combined are +53, Bryan Rust has 12 goals, 13 assists on the year.
In goal, you have Matthew Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, who have done marvelously. Their combined number; 37 wins, .915 Save%, & 2.68 GAA. In my opinion, Marc-Andre Fleury has done a fine job mentoring Matt Murray in a way that Mike Bales, the Penguins Goaltending Coach can’t.
The only chink in this Penguins team; playing on the road. The Penguins are only 13-10-5 on the road this year as oppose to 24-4-3 at home.
Flyers Season to this point:
The Flyers enter this game with a mark of 28-25-7 = 63 points. You may know they had that 10 game win streak from Nov 27th to Dec 14th. The Flyers since that streak they’ve gone 9-15-4. They are currently 6th in the Metropolitan Division.
They have been led entirely by 4 players; Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn. Those 4 guys combined have; 71 goals, 101 assists = 172 points. That accounts for 43% of the Flyers offense this year.
The Flyers’ issues this season have been attributed to lack of consistency in secondary scoring and defense! 23 players this year for Philadelphia have negative +/- ratings, 8 of the 23 are -10 or worse – led by the -22 of Shayne Gostisbehere.
This is the 314th meeting between these 2 rivals. The Flyers have a 170-113-30 edge All-Time in the series. Since 1990, the series is 84-77-11 the Flyers with the edge. The Penguins have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
The Series All-Time in Pittsburgh is 71-64-22 Penguins in the 157 meetings.
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