Let’s take it outside.
In what’s expected to be a heated battle in the Keystone State Rivalry, the Philadelphia Flyers (28-26-7, 63 pts.) will host the Pittsburgh Penguins (32-22-7, 71 pts.) in the first ever hockey game to be played at Lincoln Financial Field — home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Flyers come into this game trailing the Penguins by eight points for the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference with both teams down to their final 21 games in the regular season.
Let's take a look at tonight's essentials.
• When: 8:00 p.m. ET
• Where: Lincoln Financial Field
• Broadcast: NBCSN
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• This game is a rematch of the Stadium Series game played two years ago at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in front of 67,318 fans. The Penguins knocked off the Flyers 4-2 behind goals from Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.
Saturday’s game will mark the fourth time the Flyers have played outdoors and the fifth time for the Penguins. Philadelphia is still searching for their first win (0-3) in an outdoor venue, while Pittsburgh is 2-2.
• In a surprise move, interim head coach Scott Gordon has chosen Brian Elliott to start over Carter Hart. This will be Elliott’s first start since sustaining a core muscle injury on November 15 against the Devils.
A day after, the Flyers announced Hart will miss at least 10 days with a lower-body injury (see story).
Elliott has appeared in relief the past two games and has stopped 51 of 54 shots for a .940 save percentage.
It's always a tough situation. I found out right before (Friday’s) practice, so I didn't have the morning at all, just kind of right before we went out. For me, personally, I've fought back from an injury. I was just really happy to be out there, back in the element. You kind of feel back at home and you kind of have a new zest for life.
— Flyers starting goaltender Brian Elliott.
Elliott will be the third different Flyers goaltender the Penguins have faced this season. Anthony Stolarz came up big with a 30-save performance in a 4-2 Flyers win at Consol Energy Center on December 1. Most recently, the Penguins defeated Carter Hart and the Flyers 4-1 at the Wells Fargo Center on February 11.
• Could this be Wayne Simmonds final game before Monday’s trade deadline? Simmonds addressed trade rumors following Friday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field.
It could be a possibility, but I think up until this point I've just tried to go about my business as normally as possible. I’m going to be thinking about winning the game, not if it's my last game or not with the Flyers. We have points to get to get back into this playoff race, and that's all my brain is processing right now. The other stuff is, you know, it is what it is, right? All I can control is I'm a Philadelphia Flyer right now and I've got to prepare for a game [Saturday].
• Flyers captain Claude Giroux will be playing in his 800th career game tonight, becoming just the third player to participate in that many games in a Flyers sweater. Only Bobby Clarke (1144) and Bill Barber (903) have played more.
In 46 career regular season games against Pittsburgh, Giroux has scored 47 points (15g, 32a).
• Defenseman Radko Gudas will serve the second and final game of his suspension after coming across the head of Nikita Kucherov with his stick.
In the games Gudas has missed, the Flyers are 0-3-0 and have been outscored 13-2 in those three losses.
• After playing just 9:53 in his NHL debut against the Red Wings on Dec. 17, Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers more than doubled his playing time in Montreal. Myers was on the ice for 20:53, the third most of any Flyers blueliner.
Myers also led the Flyers with nine shot attempts — one on goal, five were blocked and three more that missed the net.
Claude Giroux - Nolan Patrick - Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom - Sean Couturier - Jake Voracek
Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds
James van Riemsdyk - Phil Varone - Justin Bailey
Ivan Provorov - Travis Sanheim
Robert Hägg - Andrew MacDonald
Shayne Gostisbehere - Philippe Myers
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