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Game 33, Preview and Open Thread: Battle of PA III, Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins (23-10-1, 47 pts) at #11 Philadelphia Flyers (15-16-1, 31 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM EDT - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, FSN Pittsburgh HD, Yahoo! Live Stream
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Pensburgh

After an embarrassing effort Tuesday night against Pittsburgh in which the Flyers showed zero heart and zero guts, as Mike Richards said post game, the Penguins travel to Philadelphia for the second half of a home and home. Can the Flyers put together a solid game, please?

Who the hell knows at this point, but time is slipping away. Thanks to several other teams idling just as badly as the Flyers, our team only sits four points out of a playoff spot with several games in hand over 8th place Florida. Regardless, though, they need wins.

It really doesn't even matter that they're playing their biggest rival tonight. They can't beat seemingly anybody these days, so it doesn't matter if they're playing the defending champs or the Minnesota Wild. We can't even say that a win tonight would be a big boost at this point, considering we thought that on Monday night with a win against Boston before the team flopped the following night.

It's tough to know what to think about this team anymore, but it's clear patience is running thin all around. Can we just get a solid effort, guys?

Blair Betts will return to the lineup tonight. He's been out since November 21st, and while his return is good news for the struggling Flyers, he's not a savior. Betts, while technically 100 percent recovered from a dislocated shoulder, is still in danger of easily re-injuring himself. He'll give a boost to the penalty kill and he allows the Flyers to line up potent centers on each line, but how long will he be in the lineup before getting hurt again?

Hopefully it works out for Betts, because he does help the team (on the cheap, even), but it's everything but a certainty that he stays healthy. He could be reunited with Dan Carcillo -- arguably the Flyers best player on Tuesday -- and Ian Laperriere on the fourth line, or Peter Laviolette could opt to keep Carcillo with Richards and Carter.

After the jump, more line combo speculation, starting goaltenders, questions to answer, and our in-game discussion.

Flyers Line Combinations

With Betts' insertion into the lineup, it's unclear who will play where. As mentioned, Carcillo could be kept on the top line. Laviolette could re-unite the Carcillo-Betts-Lappy line, he could move Carter to center, move Giroux back to wing ... there are a number of options and nothing official as come out. We may have to wait until game time to see, but feel free to debate in the comments.

Starting Goaltenders

2009 - Brian Boucher 13 712 4 8 32 2.70 321 289 .900 0

2009 - Marc-Andre Fleury 28 1637 19 8 65 2.38 701 636 .907 0

Questions To Answer

  1. 60 minute effort?
  2. Can Boosh turn in a solid performance?
  3. Can the Flyers beef up on the power play and the PK, which both didn't look too great on Tuesday?
  4. How does Dan Carcillo play, one game after being arguably the Flyers best player?
  5. How's Betts look in his first game back?

Tonight's game will be broadcast in the Delaware Valley on CSN Philly and 610 WIP, in enemy territory on FSN Pittsburgh, and everywhere else in America it'll be streaming on Yahoo! (link above). As always, join us here for the conversation (let's beat our open thread record from the other night), and LET'S GO FLYERS!