Penguins (38-25-4) at Flyers (34-21-11)
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center
BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV–NBCSN; radio–97.5 FM.
SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull @samdonnellon
KEY PLAYERS: The Flyers get Wayne Simmonds back after he missed seven games with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald is also expected to return to the lineup. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has 16 goals, 24 assists and 40 points in 29 career appearances at the Wells Fargo Center. The Penguins have won 17 of 29 games in Philadelphia with Crosby in the lineup. Evgeni Malkin has 15 goals, 20 assists and 35 points in 28 career games at the Wells Fargo. With his goal against Calgary on Monday, Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang has 40 points this season, tying Paul Coffey’s franchise record of five seasons with 40-plus points as a defenseman. Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has three points (2G, 1A) in his last six games.
THINGS TO KNOW: Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel will become the first player from his 2006 NHL draft class to appear in 900 career games. He’s also the 58th American player in NHL history (ninth active) to reach that mark. Kessel hasn’t missed a game since the 2009-10 season with Toronto and has the most goals (323) of anyone in his draft class. His 725 career points are second to Washington’s Nick Backstrom (777) in that class. Two points separate the Capitals, Flyers and Penguins in the race for the division title. The Penguins are 11-4 this year in overtime, but 1-3 on the road. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said Tuesday that he is likely to play goalie Alex Lyon in one of the games, against the Penguins and Bruins, over the next two nights.
HEAD TO HEAD: Including playoffs, the Flyers are 172-116-30 all-time against Pittsburgh. They are 107-43-8 at home, but the Penguins are 13-6-2 in their last 21 visits to the Wells Fargo and have won both meetings between the teams this season: a 5-4 overtime victory amid that 10-game winless streak on Nov. 27 in Pittsburgh, and a 5-1 victory here on Jan. 2. They will meet a final time in the regular season on March 25 in Pittsburgh.
Thursday at Boston, 7 p.m.
Saturday va. Winnipeg, 1 p.m.
Monday vs. Vegas, 7 p.m.