Game 75, Preview and Game Thread: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

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#7 Philadelphia Flyers (37-31, 80 pts) at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins (42-25-7, 91 pts)
Mellon Arena (for the last time?) - 1:00 PM ET - Pittsburgh, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, FSN Pittsburgh (oh god) HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Get the Pittsburgh perspective at PensBurgh
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Back in January, I stumbled upon a few photos of Johan Backlund's goalie mask. Adorned in Flyers colors and Flyers logos, the angle I took for the story I wrote about his mask was that he had 'high hopes' for making the Flyers roster. Those hopes were evident in the probably-expensive piece of artwork he put on his head each night with the Phantoms.

I also mentioned how Backlund playing with the Flyers this season was pretty unlikely, given the fact that the goalie wasn't even trusted to be a backup behind Brian Boucher once Ray Emery went down. Paul Holmgren made that clear when he picked Michael Leighton off of waivers.

So it's a nice way to sum up this season, perhaps, in that there are eight games left in the season, Backlund is getting his first NHL start today against our cross-state rivals, and most of us are actually pretty happy with this occurrence. We haven't been winning with Boosh in goal, whether that's his fault or not, and the team really doesn't have much else to lose at this point.

It's Backlund's net today. He's kept a weak Phantoms team alive in the AHL all season long. Let's see if he can keep this Flyers team above the playoff bubble.

Good lineup news out of Pitt today: Evgeni Malkin will miss his third game in a row. Sergei Gonchar is sick and may miss the game as well. Matt Carle is a game-time decision for the Flyers.

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with a point today. Don't let it happen. This could be the Flyers last ever game at Civic Mellon Arena. Let's win it.

After the jump, lines, goalies, and questions to answer.

Flyers Line Combinations

Hartnell – Richards – Carcillo
Gagne – Briere – Leino
van Riemsdyk – Giroux – Powe
Laperriere – Betts – Asham

Pronger - Coburn
Timonen - Krajicek
Parent - Bartulis

Late word: Carle is out.

Pittsburgh Line Combinations

Can't find 'em. The website I usually go to is broken. Who cares though?

Starting Goaltenders


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 w/ ADK - Johan Backlund 41 1318 21 17 114 2.79 1216 1102 .906 2


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Marc-Andre Fleury 60 3408 33 19 151 2.66 1606 1455 .906 1


Questions to Answer

  1. Martin Havlat, after the Wild game: "Once they got the lead, they gave up." Does the motivation of playing the Penguins translate into [enter Flyers' marketing slogan here] hockey?
  2. How's Backlund look?
  3. How much does missing Malkin hurt the Pens today? Same goes for Gonchar, if he is indeed out.
  4. Can the Flyers win their last regular season game at Mellon Arena?

CSN, WIP, BSH. LET'S GO FLYERS!

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