National Hockey League
Preview
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will celebrate their respective 50th anniversary this season by altering the setting for their next installment of their bitter rivalry. The Keystone State representatives take the action outdoors as they will play under the lights at Heinz Field, the home of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It's a cool experience," said forward Brayden Schenn, who scored his first career NHL goal in the Flyers' 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park in 2012. "A lot of families are coming to town. We obviously know there are two points on the line, but it's a whole difference experience, and it's pretty cool for us as well." The 25-year-old Schenn tallied in his third straight game in Wednesday's 4-1 setback to Washington, marking the free-falling Flyers' sixth loss in eight contests. Pittsburgh has kept the heat on the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals with a 7-1-3 mark since the All-Star break, with captain Sidney Crosby recording 11 points (five goals, six assists) in that span as well as tallying twice in the Penguins' 5-4 victory in Philadelphia on Oct. 29.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC, SN, TVAS2, NHL.TV

ABOUT THE FLYERS (28-25-7): Veteran Jakub Voracek hasn't missed a game this season and that streak will continue on Saturday, as he has been confirmed to play despite aggravating a groin injury in practice. The 27-year-old, who tallied twice in the first encounter with the Penguins, nearly scored in his second straight game on Wednesday before an official review wiped out his apparent game-opening goal versus Washington. Fellow forward Jordan Weal believes he'll be a game-time decision despite "feeling better every day" with an undisclosed injury while Michal Neuvirth is expected to make sixth straight start and ninth in 10 games on Saturday.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (37-14-8): Ron Hainsey has yet to compete in a playoff contest during his 891-game NHL career, but the veteran stay-at-home defenseman likely is well on his way after being acquired from cellar-dwelling Carolina on Thursday morning. Hainsey's presence is needed along the blue line for the ailing Penguins, as veteran Trevor Daley (knee) and Olli Maatta (hand) are nursing long-term injuries while Kris Letang (upper body) and Justin Schultz (concussion) are considered day-to-day. Coach Mike Sullivan doesn't believe that the inclusion of the 35-year-old Hainsey into an injury-riddled lineup will cause too much of an adjustment. "It's a little bit of a challenge, but I don't think it's anything that's overwhelming for our team," Sullivan said. "... When we add new players into the group, these guys will help them along the way. I don't think it's anything where we're not capable of meeting that challenge."

OVERTIME

1. Pittsburgh won the first New Year's Day Winter Classic in 2008 with a shootout victory over Buffalo before dropping outdoor games against Washington (2011, Nationals Park) and Chicago (2014, Soldier Field) while Philadelphia fell to both Boston (2010, Fenway Park) and the Rangers (2012, Citizens Bank Park).

2. The Flyers have recorded a league second-worst 22 points (9-15-4) since their 10-game winning streak.

3. Rain is expected Saturday morning and afternoon in Pittsburgh before giving way to possible flurries at night.

PREDICTION: Penguins 5, Flyers 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Philadelphia 28-25-3-4 L1 17-10-1-3 11-15-2-1 7-5-1-1 21-20-2-3 6-9-1-0
Pittsburgh 37-14-6-2 W1 24-4-2-1 13-10-4-1 2-2-0-0 35-12-6-2 14-5-1-0
Last Meeting
Philadelphia Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/29/16 PIT 5 PHI 4 42 22 1-3 27 38 1-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Philadelphia R. Gudas 2
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 2
Goals Player  
Philadelphia J. Voracek 2
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 2
Assists Player  
Philadelphia R. Gudas 2
Pittsburgh P. Hornqvist 2
Saves Player  
Philadelphia M. Neuvirth 12
Pittsburgh M. Fleury 38
Season
Total Points Player  
Philadelphia J. Voracek 54
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 66
Goals Player  
Philadelphia W. Simmonds 27
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 33
Assists Player  
Philadelphia J. Voracek 36
Pittsburgh E. Malkin 36
Saves Player  
Philadelphia S. Mason 1061
Pittsburgh M. Fleury 925
Quickchart Matchup
Philadelphia Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.5 GF
2.78 GA
31.2 Shots
32.2 Shots
43 PP
39 PK
Pittsburgh Off vs  Philadelphia Def
3.47 GF
2.98 GA
34.1 Shots
28.3 Shots
43 PP
34 PK