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Game 4, Preview and Open Thread: Battle of PA Resumes, Penguins at Flyers

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Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1-0, 4 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (3-0-0, 6 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, FSN Pittsburgh HD
Radio: 610 WIP (internet stream), XM 207, Sirius 217
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Pensburgh
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Chris Pronger was brought to Philadelphia for several reasons, but one of them is quite clear: to shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins. He'll get his first opportunity tonight when the Flyers' cross-state rivals visit the Wachovia Center.

Pittsburgh is coming off an ugly 3-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, and there's no doubt that they're going to want to turn around a flat, lifeless performance. The fact that they're coming into South Philly tonight is just extra reason to get pumped up -- not that either team is going to need it.

The Flyers have Riley Cote, Arron Asham, and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen all in the lineup tonight, partly due to injury, partly for toughness. Ian Laperriere, Dan Carcillo, and Pronger are still there too, of course. Eric Godard and Mike Rupp define the toughness in Pittsburgh, but let's be real here.. that word really isn't in their dictionary.

The orange and black proved on Tuesday night that they can hang with the best of the best on the offensive end, but they're going to need a better defensive effort if they expect to beat Pittsburgh tonight. Against Washington, the defense looked out of sync and just straight up sloppy with the puck. It barely allowed the Flyers to squeak out a win against the Caps and it's not going to work against the Penguins, who have better goaltending and a better defense.

It'll be interesting to see which defense pairing goes against Sidney Crosby tonight. Pronger and Matt Carle saw the most action against Alex Ovechkin the other night, but Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn have had success against Crosby in the past. Either way, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will both have their hands full with the Flyers defense tonight.

After the jump, expected lines for both teams and questions to answer...

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Bill Guerin
Pascal Dupuis - Evgeni Malkin - Ruslan Fedotenko
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Eric Godard

Brooks Orpik - Sergei Gonchar
Mark Eaton - Kris Letang
Jay McKee - Alex Goligoski

Marc-Andre Fleury
Philadelphia Flyers

Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Mika Pyorala
Scott Hartnell - Jeff Carter - Danny Briere
Aaron Asham - Claude Giroux - Darroll Powe
Riley Cote - Ian Laperriere -
Dan Carcillo

Defense
Chris Pronger - Matt Carle
Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Ryan Parent - Ole-Kristian Tollefsen

Scratches
Forwards - James van Riemsdyk, Blair Betts
Defense - Danny Syvret

Goalies
Ray Emery
Brian Boucher

Questions To Answer

  1. Which defense pairing sees time against the Crosby line? Effective? Repeat question replacing Crosby with Malkin.
    How does Ole-Kristian Tollefsen look in his Flyer debut?
  2. Does Aaron Asham send a message to John Stevens and earn his job back on a regular basis? Same goes for Riley Cote.
  3. Offensive dynamo Matt Carle leads the Flyers with six points. An encore, perhaps?
  4. Can Ray Emery outplay Marc-Andre Fleury?

7 PM on Comcast SportsNet. Radio on 610 WIP. As always, join us here for the discussion and LET'S GO FLYERS!