hockey | nhl

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick & Prediction MAY 4TH 2021

FinishedTV: NBCSP | ATTSNWells Fargo Center Philadelphia

35Pittsburgh Penguins
36Philadelphia Flyers

OP
0
6
CU
-1.5 +150
6o -107
ML
200
185
Partials
1 2 3
0 0 2
3 1 3
Score
2
7
Recap

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The final meeting of the season between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday takes on more drama than might have been expected primarily because of what happened on Monday.

In the first of back-to-back games between the teams in Philadelphia, the Flyers -- already eliminated from the playoff picture in the East -- spanked the Penguins 7-2.

That not only added an interesting chapter to the cross-state rivalry between the clubs, but it also added an extra hurdle in Pittsburgh's path to a possible division title.

With Pittsburgh falling Monday while Washington beat the New York Rangers 6-3, the Penguins (34-16-3) and Capitals (33-14-5) each have 71 points at the top of the division, but Washington has a game in hand. The Boston Bruins are four points behind, but they have two games in hand on Pittsburgh and three on Washington.

"I don't think we were on our game," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We weren't skating. We didn't play the game that gives us the best chance to be successful."

Winger Jason Zucker, who scored one of Pittsburgh's two power-play goals Monday, was more succinct about the state of his team's game after the Penguins had won six of the previous seven contests.

"I just don't think we were very good," he said. "We were fighting it from the first shift, it seemed like. It just seemed like everything we did was a step behind. It was a snowball effect for us, and we couldn't really get out of it."

That sets up Tuesday's game at Philadelphia as nearly critical to Pittsburgh's chances of locking up home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. The Penguins have two games remaining after Tuesday.

The Flyers, meanwhile, are looking to feed off their win.

"There's no doubt that when you're capable of making the other team pay for some of their mistakes and you get some big saves, it's certainly big as far as confidence," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said.

Pittsburgh is 2-4-1 against the Flyers this season, though the latest setback was uncharacteristic in several ways. The Penguins had been playing a solid two-way game, but they gave up 45 shots to Philadelphia and did not protect the goalies.

That's goalies, plural. Casey DeSmith, in his first start since April 24, gave up four goals on 37 shots through two periods. He then was replaced by Tristan Jarry, who stopped five of the seven shots he faced.

Adding injury to insult, "It was a medical decision," Sullivan said postgame. "Casey was replaced with Tristan because of a lower-body injury. (DeSmith) is being evaluated."

The return Monday of the Penguins' second-line center, Evgeni Malkin, after he missed 23 games because of a suspected knee injury did not provide a spark for the team.

Malkin resumed his normal spot between Zucker and Kasperi Kapanen, played 14:07 and picked up a power-play assist.

While the Flyers slowed the Penguins on Monday, their lot as a playoff outsider cut into their enjoyment.

"It felt good, but the satisfaction isn't as high as if we were playing for something," said Philadelphia winger Jakub Voracek, who registered three assists Monday.

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 80% L 20%
8 2
  • Buffalo W 4 - 8
  • @Philadelphia W 7 - 3
  • @Philadelphia L 2 - 7
  • @Washington W 3 - 0
  • @Washington W 5 - 4
  • Boston L 3 - 1
  • Boston W 0 - 1
  • New Jersey W 2 - 4
  • New Jersey W 1 - 5
  • New Jersey W 6 - 7
W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • Pittsburgh L 7 - 3
  • Pittsburgh W 2 - 7
  • New Jersey L 4 - 1
  • @New Jersey L 3 - 5
  • @New Jersey L 4 - 6
  • New Jersey W 3 - 4
  • @NY Rangers L 1 - 4
  • @NY Rangers W 3 - 2
  • NY Islanders L 1 - 0
  • Washington L 6 - 3

Next Games

  • Buffalo(05-06-21) W 4 - 8
  • @Washington(04-13-21) L 1 - 6
  • @Washington(04-13-21) L 1 - 6
  • New Jersey(05-01-21) L 4 - 1

Last Meetings

  • Penguins @ Flyers 7-3
  • Penguins @ Flyers 2-7
  • Flyers @ Penguins 2-1
  • Flyers @ Penguins 3-4
  • Flyers @ Penguins 4-3
  • Flyers @ Penguins 2-5
  • Penguins @ Flyers 2-5
  • Penguins @ Flyers 3-6
  • Penguins @ Flyers 2-3
  • Flyers @ Penguins 3-4

Last Injuries

Philadelphia Flyers

  • Shayne Gostisbehere

    Suspension
    Elig Mon | out

    Gostisbehere is serving a two-game suspension for boarding, and he is eligible to return against the Devils on Monday.

  • Isaac Ratcliffe

    Ribs
    Mid May | I-R

    Ratcliffe has wound up on the injured reserve list with a fractured rib, and he is not expected to return until the middle of May.

  • Kirill Ustimenko

    Hip
    Mid May | I-R

    Ustimenko has been posted to the injured reserve list after undergoing hip surgery, and he is expected to miss four to five months.

  • Carter Hart

    Knee
    out for season | out

    Hart is out of the lineup with an MCL sprain in his left knee, and he will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign.

  • Shayne Gostisbehere

    Knee
    Mid May | out

    Gostisbehere is sidelined with a MCL sprain, and he will not be back in the lineup until the middle of May.

  • Tanner Laczynski

    Hip
    out for season | out

    Laczynski will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum on his right hip.

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Evan Rodrigues

    Ankle
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Rodrigues has sat out the previous four contests with a ankle injury, and it has yet to be established if he will be in the lineup Saturday versus the Sabres.

  • Mike Matheson

    Face
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Matheson has been held out of last three game with a facial injury, and it remains to be seen if he will take the ice to battle the Sabres on Saturday.

  • Casey DeSmith

    Lower Body
    Ques Sat | questionable

    DeSmith has missed the last two contests with a lower-body injury, and it remains to be seen if he will suit up for Saturday's clash with the Sabres.

  • Evgeni Malkin

    Lower Body
    Prob Mon | probable

    Malkin has been on the injured reserve list with a lower-body injury, but he is projected to be in the lineup on Monday versus the Flyers.

  • Frederick Gaudreau

    Lower Body
    Early May | out

    Gaudreau is out of the lineup with a lower-body injury, and he is not expected to return until at least the beginning of May.

  • Mark Friedman

    Upper Body
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Friedman has been activated from the injured reserve list after recuperating from an upper-body injury, and it is unknown if he will face the Bruins on Tuesday.