John Boruk

Flyers vs. Penguins: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Penguins: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

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.

Projected lineup

Forwards
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

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov - Travis Sanheim
Robert Hägg - Andrew MacDonald 
Shayne Gostisbehere - Philippe Myers

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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Flyers rookie Carter Hart to miss a minimum of 10 days

Flyers rookie Carter Hart to miss a minimum of 10 days

It turns out Brian Elliott would have started Saturday’s outdoor game regardless.

The Flyers announced early Saturday morning that rookie Carter Hart will miss at least the next 10 days with a lower-body injury.

It’s believed Hart sustained the injury during Friday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field, but the Flyers haven’t confirmed when or where it took place. 

A 10-day time period has Hart missing the next five games during a crucial stretch in which the Flyers face the Sabres and Blue Jackets, who are also fighting for playoff position.

Cam Talbot, acquired last week in a trade for Anthony Stolarz, will now serve as Elliott’s backup for tonight’s game against Pittsburgh.

We could see Talbot start Tuesday’s game against the Sabres, which would make him the eighth different goaltender to play for the Flyers this season.

Hart’s injury, if anything, takes a lot of pressure off interim head coach Scott Gordon, who was under some intense scrutiny for electing to start Elliott over the more popular Hart, who helped the Flyers climb back into playoff contention (see story).

If the 10-day timeframe holds up, Hart could return to the Flyers Feb. 6 against the Capitals, but more realistically would be the Feb. 9 game at the Islanders.

Here’s a list of the Flyers' goaltending injuries this season:

• Brian Elliott — 38 games missed (core muscle injury)
• Michal Neuvirth — 22 (undisclosed)
• Anthony Stolarz — 16 (lower-body injury)
• Alex Lyon — 1 (undisclosed)
• Carter Hart — 1 (lower-body injury)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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Brian Elliott will start over Carter Hart for Flyers in Stadium Series

Brian Elliott will start over Carter Hart for Flyers in Stadium Series

Updated: 10:03 p.m. 

The fans at Lincoln Financial Field have developed a real fondness for the backup.

Except for the one they’ll see Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon made the startling announcement following Friday’s practice that Brian Elliott will be the Flyers' starting goaltender for Saturday night’s Stadium Series game against the Penguins.

Gordon spent about three-and-a-half minutes explaining his decision — one that will most certainly elicit the “boo birds” who were expecting 20-year-old Carter Hart.

“We talked as a staff this morning and again this afternoon," Gordon said, "and I looked at it from the perspective that if this was just another game, if it wasn’t an outdoor game, would you be playing (Hart) that third game in a row? I think the biggest thing is if this game was at any other time, we would have gone back to who the other goalie was.”

Many of the 70,000-plus who are planning on braving the cold weather and possibly rainy conditions purchased tickets on the assumption that Hart would be in net, and you could sense from listening to Gordon that he had thought about this decision from every angle and the optics of how this might appear.

Hart had a special mask created with Nick Foles on one side and Carson Wentz on the other, along with pads, a blocker and a glove specially tailored for this one outdoor game.

“The easy decision would be to pick Carter," Gordon said. "It really bothered me to make the final decision as to not play him. Two weeks ago that was looking like it was going to be the decision. I said to Carter, ‘This is gonna hurt,' but the biggest thing is this is our biggest game of the year, but as far as lineup decision, it’s what’s best for the team.” 

The rookie had surrendered three goals in roughly the first ten minutes in each of his past two starts, and had been pulled in  favor of Elliott, who has surprisingly done a solid job in relief. Tuesday’s game against the Lightning was Elliott’s first NHL action in three months as he proceeded to stop 22 of 23 shots.

However, the Flyers wouldn’t be within striking range of the playoffs if it wasn’t for some outstanding goaltending from Hart, who primarily carried the team through an eight-game winning streak.

Gordon’s move is very reminiscent of Peter Laviolette’s decision to go with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky over Ilya Bryzgalov in the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park. 

That’s when Bryzgalov took it upon himself to disclose Laviolette’s decision to the media against the wishes of his head coach.

Right now, the Flyers desperately need two points to stay in the playoff chase, and if they don’t receive a solid outing from Elliott and a much-needed two points, this decision will be one that will be not-so-fondly remembered for the remainder of the season.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers