Final SO

Series (Game 3 of 6)

Pittsburgh leads 5-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 8th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 15th
Game 3: Thursday, December 17th
Game 4: Thursday, January 7th
Game 5: Sunday, January 24th
Game 6: Saturday, March 27th

Penguins 3

(24-10-1, 49 pts)

Flyers 2

(15-16-2, 32 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 17, 2009

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 SO T
PIT 1 1 0 13
PHI 1 1 0 02

K. Letang (Penguins - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

M. Fleury (Penguins - G): Saves: 31, Save Pct.: .939

J. Carter (Flyers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Penguins-Flyers Preview


The intrastate rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers did not disappoint earlier this week, with an intense game that featured three fights and a lopsided win by the defending champions.

The teams won't have to wait long to write the next chapter in their head-to-head series.

The surging Penguins look to sweep a home-and-home set from the Flyers for the first time in exactly 17 years Thursday night at the Wachovia Center.

Pittsburgh (23-10-1) eliminated Philadelphia (15-16-1) from the last two Eastern Conference playoffs, and appears poised to make another run at the Stanley Cup. The Penguins beat the Flyers 6-1 on Tuesday for their ninth win in 12 games.

The teams had not met since Pittsburgh accused Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell of biting defenseman Kris Letang's finger during the Penguins' 5-4 victory at the Wachovia Center on Oct. 8. The bad feelings apparently have yet to dissipate.

Fights broke out between Arron Asham and Mike Rupp, Riley Cote and Eric Godard, and Dan Carcillo and Craig Adams in a 16-second span less than six minutes into the game.

"In juniors I've seen that -- back to back to back (fights) like that -- but not up here," said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who had a goal and two assists. "It was pretty exciting for both teams. It lived up to the rivalry, that game."

Crosby, with nine goals and seven assists in his last seven games, has 21 goals and 28 assists in 28 career regular-season contests versus the Flyers. He has another six goals and nine assists in 11 playoff games against them.

With Crosby leading the way, the Penguins won the last three meetings at Philadelphia, but they have not swept a home-and-home series from the Flyers since Dec. 15 and 17, 1992.

"It's real easy to get up for these games, it's an exciting match every time we play," said Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal, who scored twice Tuesday. "It's a battle and I think it's something everyone enjoys."

The Flyers probably don't enjoy it as much.

Philadelphia, 3-11-0 since Nov. 20, lost nine of the last 12 meetings with the Penguins. The Flyers reconfigured their lineup this season to make an already rugged team more physical and better capable of matching up with Pittsburgh. So far, it hasn't worked.

"We're not playing with enough heart right now to win," Philadelphia captain Mike Richards said.

Carcillo scored the lone goal Tuesday for the Flyers, who were held to one goal or fewer in three of their last four games. The lack of offense has made life tough on goaltender Brian Boucher, but he didn't do much to help himself Tuesday.

Boucher, who made his sixth straight start as he fills in for the injured Ray Emery, went 2-6-0 with a 2.87 goals-against average in his last nine games.

Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to give him an 8-1-1 mark and 1.89 GAA in his last 10 games. He went 16-3-0 with a 2.43 GAA and two shutouts in his last 20 starts against the Flyers.