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2:30 PM PT3:30 PM MT4:30 PM CT5:30 PM ET22:30 GMT6:30 3:30 PM MST5:30 PM EST2:30 UAE (+1)17:30 ETNaN:� BRT, November 25, 2022
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 19,309

In-state rival Penguins, Flyers heading in opposite directions

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers

  1. The Penguins won the first three games they played against the Flyers last season but the Flyers won the fourth and final 2021-22 meeting of the NHL's two Pennsylvania teams (4-1 on April 24 in Philadelphia).
  2. The Penguins extended their winning streak to four games with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Flames on Wednesday. Pittsburgh scored first and never trailed in each of the four games but squandered a lead three times (2-0 at Minnesota, 3-0 at Chicago, 1-0 vs. Calgary).
  3. Tristan Jarry's win over Calgary on Wednesday was the 100th of his NHL/Penguins career. Jarry reached the 100-win mark in his 171st game, which ties him with Frederik Andersen for second fastest among active NHL goalies, behind former Penguin Matt Murray (166).
  4. Sidney Crosby has recorded at least one point in each of his last 11 games against the Flyers (totals: nine goals, nine assists). It's Crosby's longest point streak versus one team since his 13-game streak against the Islanders from January 2015 to March 2018.
  5. The Flyers' 3-2 overtime loss at Washington on Wednesday was the NHL-high third time they failed to win a game in which they led in the final three minutes of the third period this season. The only other NHL teams with more than one such non-win this season are Pittsburgh and San Jose with two each.
  6. Carter Hart's current streak of six consecutive starts with a save percentage below .900 ties the NHL season high set by Tristan Jarry (Oct. 24-Nov. 17) and previously equaled by Elvis Merzlikins (Oct. 20 to date). It's the second-longest such streak of Hart's NHL career (eight starts in March 2021).

The Pittsburgh Penguins and host Philadelphia Flyers, who meet Friday, have been writing different scripts lately.

The Penguins have come with storybook endings as they have run their winning streak to four games.

The Flyers have been more of a horror story; a losing streak that has reached eight games.

The Penguins' past two games in particular have seemed to have some magical touches, specifically involving star center Evgeni Malkin.

Sunday at Chicago, in Malkin's 1,000th career game, he got treated to the surprise of his young son, Nikita, coming into the locker room pregame to read the starting lineup, which included the elder Malkin.

Then Malkin had a goal and his star teammate and good friend Sidney Crosby got a late tiebreaking goal as Pittsburgh downed the Blackhawks 5-3.

Wednesday, after the Penguins held a pregame ceremony to honor Malkin for his milestone with the team back home, he scored the deciding goal in a shootout for a 2-1 win over Calgary.

"It was a huge and fitting finish," Crosby said. "It was perfect. You wouldn't want anyone else with the opportunity to win the game.

"We just want to continue that momentum. We've done some pretty good things. ... Our game's gotten better and better, and we're giving up (fewer scoring chances) overall. It's great to see, and I think that's going to help us win hockey games."

It might be hard for Malkin to carry the same level of emotion for too many more games.

"These last few days, I'm crying every day because the team (gave) me so much surprises," Malkin said.

"The last two games are special for me, but it's important to win, too."

The Flyers have much different reasons for emotions running high these days.

Consider their most recent loss. On Wednesday at Washington, Philadelphia had a couple one-goal leads and never trailed, yet fell in overtime 3-2 on Alex Ovechkin's goal.

The Flyers are 0-5-3 on their skid.

"It's definitely frustrating," Philadelphia forward Morgan Frost said. "We've got to learn how to close every game. ... It's tough."

Game after game, the Flyers keep digging holes.

"At this point, we're finding ways to lose," defenseman Ivan Provorov said. "We've got to stop that."

Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said it's a matter of both execution and mentality.

"Some guys, they're not able to think that way, in wanting to win, almost waiting to lose," Tortorella said. "Other parts of the game, I think it's execution."

There is a third factor that surely is in play. The Flyers have been hit hard with injuries. Scott Laughton, Wade Allison, James van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier are on IR, Cam Atkinson has not played this season, and Travis Konecny is expected to be out for more than a week.

Not that the Flyers have reached defeatist mode, Frost insisted.

"To be honest, I think there's still a good feeling in the locker room," he said. "We're working hard. You can make as many excuses as you want, but it's obviously tough when you're missing so many guys.

"I think everyone's working their hardest. We've got to finish games and focus in some of the details that are costing us."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 24, 2022

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