Flyers Vs. Penguins: Pens Lose 5-2, Drop Four Points Behind Flyers

The Penguins could move into a tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a win against Philadelphia.

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Flyers Vs. Penguins: Philadelphia Wins 5-2, Increases Hold On Top Playoff Seed

The Penguins lost to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night, 5-2, in a game that would have tied the Pens for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers are now four points up on the Pens and have a game in hand, so Philadelphia looks very likely to claim both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division crowns. And since division winners get the top three seeds in the conference, the Penguins now appear likely to win the No. 4 seed, which right now would give them a first-round matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Alex Kovalev opened the scoring midway through the first period, but after that, It wasn’t the best night for Marc-Andre Fleury. Jeff Carter’s shot late in the second period bounced off Fleury and into the net, tying the game at one. Tyler Kennedy gave the Pens a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, but Scott Hartnell (on the power play) and Claude Giroux scored in quick succession for the Flyers to give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead. In the third period, Ville Leino scored two goals, one of which again bounced off Fleury and into the net.

The Pens’ next game is on Thursday against … well, actually, it’s against the Lightning, in what could be a preview of the Pens’ first-round playoff matchup.

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Flyers Vs. Penguins: Pens Eye Top Spot In Eastern Conference

The Penguins will take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. With a win, the Penguins would tie the Flyers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, with 100 points. (The Washington Capitals host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, and could make it a three-way tie themselves if they win.)

That the Penguins find themselves this close to the top spot in the conference is nothing short of remarkable, given all their troubles in the past few months. Speaking of which, the injury carousel will continue for the Penguins tonight: Mark Letestu will be back after missing five games due to injury, and the Pens have sent goalie Brad Thiessen back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, suggesting that Brent Johnson is ready to play. Meanwhile, Dustin Jeffrey will continue to sit out with a knee injury. An MRI showed problems with his knee, although apparently it isn't entirely clear what they are; hopefully, as Jimmy Rixner points out, he won't need surgery. Also, Sidney Crosby skated this morning, although again he won't be playing.

This is one of the bigger games so far this season for the Pens. You can follow it in the game thread at PensBurgh, and while you're waiting, you can check out Stephen Catanese's feature today on the Pens' recent play and Marc-Andre Fleury's role in the Penguins' resurgence.

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