The Philadelphia Flyers recorded only one win against the
Pittsburgh Penguins last season, but have an early advantage in the
rivalry less than two weeks into the 2010-11 campaign.
In their second meeting, the Flyers will look to snap a
five-game home losing streak to the Penguins on Saturday night.
Philadelphia (2-1-1), which is 1-1-0 on its season-high
five-game homestand, is coming off a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay on
Thursday. Nikolay Zherdev scored his 100th career goal and Danny
Briere added his third in four contests.
Philadelphia, which was third in the NHL in power-play
percentage last season at 21.5 percent, was 0 for 4 with the man
advantage, and 1 for 17 in 2010-11.
“Not enough support on the puck, not enough movement with the
puck, not enough urgency in our step and not enough attack at the
net,” coach Peter Laviolette told the team’s official website. “The
bottom line is that it has to be better.”
While the Flyers are looking to pick up some more wins during
the early homestand, they’ve dropped five straight at Wells Fargo
Center against the Penguins, including three last season.
This will be the second of three meetings between the Atlantic
Division rivals this month. Philadelphia opened the season with a
3-2 win on Oct. 7 in Pittsburgh at the new Consol Energy Center,
where the teams will meet again Oct. 29.
“Those games … it’s a lot easier to get up for,” Briere said.
“(You) don’t need a lot of self motivation when you play the
Penguins. The rivalry there, the hatred between the two teams,
they’re always fun and intense to play.”
The atmosphere in Philadelphia figures to be particularly
intense with Game 1 of the NL championship series between the
Phillies and San Francisco Giants being played later that night at
nearby Citizens Bank Ballpark.
The Penguins (2-3-0) are looking to put back-to-back wins
together after a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Islanders
on Friday for their first home victory in four tries.
“I was sick of answering questions about the first win here, so
that will be a relief,” said Alex Goligoski, who scored the game
winner on the power play. “It’s nice. It’s just relief to finally
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin assisted on Goligoski’s tally.
Both came in with a goal and an assist as they continue to
Visiting Philadelphia might help. It’s there where Malkin has a
six-game point streak, which includes three goals, and Crosby has
eight assists and 11 points in his last eight games.
“When you have guys like Crosby and Malkin, they can open up a
game in a hurry,” Briere said. “They’re never out of a game, you
always have to be careful. They’re a tough team.”