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Though they’re separated by nine points in the conference standings and five places in the Metropolitan Division, the Penguins and Flyers enter Wednesday’s game as two entities on different momentum tracks.
Philadelphia is climbing from the depths of a hideous start to the 2013-14 season, but two straight wins and points in four of the last five games have provided a fleeting bit of optimism for a team that’s already endured a coaching change (Peter Laviolette to Craig Berube) and four losing streaks sandwiched around just six victories.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has dropped multiple games in a row for just the second time so far this season, having lost 5-1 to the New York Rangers on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden and 2-1 three days later to the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The Penguins are 7-2 on home ice, though, and haven’t lost there since Oct. 25.
The first meeting of the year came on Oct. 17, when the Penguins beat the Flyers 4-1 at the Wells Fargo Center.