Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers

NHL on NBC: Penguins and Flyers resume rivalry as playoff race continues


NBC continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign today when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers at CONSOL Energy Center at 12:30 p.m. ET.

It’s the battle of Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers aren’t likely to be in good spirits with each other, after already meeting on Saturday.

The Flyers got the best of the Penguins in the first game of this weekend home-and-home set, defeating Pittsburgh by a final score of 4-0. The Flyers remain in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with 75 points, despite having won seven of their last 10 games.

But, in a playoff race, none of their recent past success will matter if they can’t maintain it.

“You have to put it behind you and that’s the way the rest of season has to go,” Philadelphia’s goalie Steve Mason told NHL.com. “We have no time left for the remainder of the regular season so teams are going to come at us quickly and we have to make sure we’re moving on from the previous one as quickly as possible and get ready for the next one.”

While the Flyers are in playoff mode, fighting for a spot in the post-season, the Penguins sit comfortably in second place in the East, three points back of the Boston Bruins.

But while the Penguins are moving closer to clinching a playoff spot, they are also dealing with key injuries. Chris Kunitz did not play Saturday after he was a late scratch due to a lower-body injury, but is a possibility for Sunday’s rematch.

Forward James Neal (concussion) and defenseman Paul Martin (hand) are both unavailable for Pittsburgh.

“Everyone’s in the same boat there,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“We’ve had some bad luck with injuries. That’s not something you can worry about. We’ve plugged (holes) all year long, and the young guys have done a pretty good job of it.”

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”