Flyers catch a break: Penguins scratch Crosby, Letang

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have been red hot lately, but they might be more manageable for the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon.

Pittsburgh has announced that Sidney Crosby is out with “bumps and bruises” while Kris Letang will be a healthy scratch. That’s in addition to the players that the Penguins were already missing, including Beau Bennett, Olli Maatta, Evgeni Malkin, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

In response to the loss of Crosby on top of all those other injuries, Pittsburgh has called up forward Kael Mouillierat, per the team’s website. The 28-year-old has appeared in six career NHL games.

Pittsburgh is still riding an eight-game win streak, but the Flyers are certainly being handed a golden opportunity. Philadelphia is one-point shy of Boston and Detroit in the battle for the second Wild Card spot, but the Flyers have two games left whereas the team’s they are chasing are currently playing out their final contest of the season.

If Detroit and/or Boston lose in regulation, then Philadelphia can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Penguins. If Detroit and Boston both win though, then the Flyers will need a win against Pittsburgh just to stay alive in the race ahead of Sunday’s game between Philadelphia and the New York Islanders.

Related: NHL on NBC: Penguins look to crush Flyers’ playoff dreams