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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 15th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (44-17-4) at Philadelphia Flyers (33-25-7), 1 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Battle of Pennsylvania is set to resume Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center for the opener of a home-and-home series.

The Flyers and Penguins haven't met since mid-November but will face each other on consecutive days this weekend. Pittsburgh opened the 2013-14 season series with a 4-1 triumph in Philadelphia on Oct. 17 before the Flyers halted a three-game slide in this matchup with a 2-1 regulation decision on Nov. 13 in the Steel City.

Following today's encounter and Sunday's meeting in Pittsburgh, the clubs will face each other once more in the regular season when the Pens host the Flyers on April 12.

The Penguins have won three straight and four of their last five games in Philly and enter Saturday's showdown riding a three-game win streak overall.

Pittsburgh, which holds a 16-point lead atop the Metropolitan Division, last played on Tuesday when it completed a home-and-home sweep of the Washington Capitals. The Pens recorded a 3-2 regulation win in D.C. on Monday before taking the home portion by a 2-0 score.

Jussi Jokinen and Sidney Crosby scored for Pittsburgh in Tuesday's win, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and 28th of his career.

Crosby extended his NHL lead with his 88th point, well ahead of both Phil Kessel of Toronto and Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, who are tied for second in the NHL with 73 points.

Fleury had six saves in both the first and second periods, then made 20 in the third to keep the Capitals off the board.

"The second half of the game they really came at us," said Crosby. "To keep them off the board was important ... especially when they're hanging around when it's 1-0. A lot can happen."

The Pens did lose forward James Neal to a concussion on Tuesday and the winger is sidelined indefinitely. Neal is fourth on Pittsburgh this season with 49 points on 22 goals and 27 assists.

"You don't know if you're talking about 1-2 days or much longer," Pens head coach Dan Bylsma said on Friday. "You hope the symptoms subside and it's shorter than longer."

Chris Kunitz, meanwhile, returned to practice for the Pens on Friday after sitting out Thursday's session due to what Bylsma deemed "bumps and bruises." Kunitz, who is tied with Crosby for the team lead in goals with 31, is questionable for Saturday.

Pittsburgh, of course, has managed to perform at a high level while dealing with a rash of injuries for much of the season.

The Pens have won two straight and three of their last four on the road. They are 20-13-2 away from Pittsburgh this season.

The Flyers, meanwhile, have lost two straight after beginning the month of March on a three-game winning streak. Philadelphia lost in overtime at Toronto on Saturday and then dropped Tuesday's controversial 2-1 decision against visiting New Jersey.

Philadelphia thought it had tied the game at 2-2 in the final minute of regulation when Scott Hartnell charged the net in pursuit of a rebound. Hartnell skated to the New Jersey crease and was hit from behind by Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. The force of the contact pushed New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur back towards the goal and the puck over the goal line.

After being immediately waved off, a brief review upheld the official's decision. Following the game, the league revealed the play could not be subject to review and could not be reversed since contact plays in the crease are subject to on-ice calls.

"The only way they can reverse it was if the kicking motion but I don't think there was a kicking motion," offered Flyers captain Claude Giroux. "I think Volchenkov and Hartsy kind of collided. I think Volchenkov and Hartsy pushed Marty in the net, it's not just Hartsy. You can see Hartsy tries to stop. I don't know. It's a tough call."

Nicklas Grossmann provided the only goal for Philadelphia and Steve Mason stopped 24 shots in the loss.

The Flyers are on their first two-game losing streak since a four-game slide from Jan. 20-25. A loss today also would give Philly back-to-back home losses for the first time since dropping games against Carolina and Boston on Jan. 22 and 25, respectively.

Mason expects to get the start for the Flyers on Saturday. He is 2-2-1 with a 3.17 goals against average and .908 save percentage in five career games versus Pittsburgh.

Fleury is 24-14-1 with a 2.74 GAA and .903 save percentage in 44 regular- season games against the Flyers. Pens backup Jeff Zatkoff has never faced Philadelphia.

03/15 10:21:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14