Flyers will face lethal power play against Pens

Flyers will face lethal power play against Pens
February 20, 2013, 9:00 am
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PITTSBURGH -- The biggest test the Flyers are going to face Wednesday night in their first trip to the Steel City since last spring’s playoffs is the Penguins’ fearsome power play.

As of Tuesday, coach Dan Bylsma had the second-best power play in the NHL at 27.4 percent.

The unit boasts two league leaders: James Neal has the most power-play goals (seven) while Evgeni Malkin leads in power-play assists (eight) and power-play points (10).
As a team, the Penguins are 8-2 over their last 10 games and sit atop the Atlantic Division with 22 points (same as New Jersey).

They have three players in the top 11 in scoring in Sidney Crosby (second) with 24 points, Chris Kunitz (ninth) with 18 and Malkin (11th) with 17.

Pittsburgh’s lethal power-play unit uses Malkin and Paul Martin at the points, while Kunitz, Crosby and Neal are up front.

The Pens’ second unit has Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen at the points with Brandon Sutter, Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy up front.
“Everything presents a challenge,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “We went in there (against the Islanders) and faced (Lubomir) Visnovsky and (John) Tavares, who were tearing it up. There’s no walk in the park here. We got off easy.

“Just about any night, you can take the top five players on teams and say, 'That’s a pretty good unit.' The Penguins are extremely good on the power play. We know we’re going to have to kill penalties.”

The Flyers have killed off 21 straight power plays over the last six games.

“It’s a huge test,” Max Talbot said. “I think we can build off this game for sure.

“We know they’ve been playing good, and they’re at the top of the East right now. So for us to go in their building and play Flyers hockey is going to be huge.”

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