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This game will be a matchup of offensive powerhouses. The Penguins led the NHL in goal scoring in 2011-12 and the Flyers were right behind them in second place.
Not too much has changed since then. Sure, the Penguins traded Jordan Staal and the Flyers chose not to re-sign Jaromir Jagr. They’ve filled those voids very well, though.
Formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes, Brandon Sutter has been brought in as the third-line center for the Penguins. He brings a valuable defensive mindset to the depth line, as well as the skill set to produce modest offensive numbers.
Brayden Schenn will get an opportunity to skate on the Flyers’ top line with Scott Hartnell and brand new captain Claude Giroux. The 21-year-old forward maintained a point-per-game pace in the AHL this season and should be a great addition to the line.
Unfortunately, Danny Briere’s hand injury will force him to miss the season-opener. While the Flyers will miss him, Sean Courtier is expected to step up as second-line center.
While Philly has a great group of young talent, any NHL team this year is going to have trouble matching the offensive potency of the Penguins’ top two lines.
The trio of Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz has been reunited and will make up the club’s top line. The second line will consist of Art Ross Trophy recipient Evgeni Malkin and James Neal, with a third linemate likely rotating throughout the season.
Both teams primarily rely on offensive prowess. Because both the Penguins and Flyers are so strong in this area, this game will come down to other factors.