The Philadelphia Flyers will play their first game of the unofficial Danny Briere era Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
He is overseeing a team that showed grit and managed to stay competitive with powerful Carolina on Thursday but dropped a 1-0 decision.
Now the Flyers (24-30-11) will face a Penguins team that blew a late two-goal lead in regulation, then fell to the Islanders in overtime Thursday, 4-3.
Yes, the Penguins (32-22-10) will be in a foul mood.
This matchup used to be sizzling with anticipation when both teams were among the elite. It was hockey’s version of the Red Sox vs. the Yankees.
The Flyers have lost 10 of their last 12 games and will miss the playoffs for their third straight season.
The Penguins are fighting for a wildcard playoff spot and have been alarmingly inconsistent.
Flyers’ expected lineup
Hart (17-20-10, 2.94 GAA, .907 SP)
Penguins’ expected lineup
Jarry (19-7-6, 2.89, .912)
Jason Zucker has seven goals over his last six games. … The Flyers are averaging just 1.6 goals over their last seven games. For the season, the Flyers are 30th in goals per game (2.57), while the Penguins are 14th (3.25). … Tony DeAngelo will miss the second of his two-game suspension. … Pittsburgh won the first game of the season series, 4-1, on Nov. 25 at the Wells Fargo Center. In that game, Ryan Poehling scored two goals as the Flyers lost their ninth straight. Carter Hart was removed in the second period after allowing four goals on 21 shots. … Hart’s career numbers vs. Pittsburgh: 4-4-2, 3.40 GAA, .896 save percentage.
Tristan Jarry is 10-4-1 with a 2.87 GAA and .903 SP vs. Philly. … Sidney Crosby usually feasts on the Philadelphia Flyers; he has 121 points (52 goals, 69 assists) in 81 games against Philly. … James van Riemsdyk has 30 points (13-17) in 51 games against the Pens. … Joel Farabee (24 games) and Kevin Hayes (11 games) have long goal-less streaks. … Tyson Foerster had an impressive NHL debut Thursday vs. Carolina. … The Flyers lead the all-time series, 166-99-43.
How to watch, listen
TV: ABC and ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic.
How to bet
FanDuel moneyline: Flyers are plus-220, Penguins are minus-275.
Pick: Penguins, 4-2.