Just as the Flyers make their return home, where they will spend a lot of time in the next couple of months, the hits just keep coming. Two more players were added to COVID protocol on Wednesday, leaving the Flyers even more shorthanded entering their first game of three straight on home ice.

It doesn't help that the opponent is the hottest team in the NHL at the moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins are in town fresh off their ninth straight win, as the Flyers battle through a three-game losing streak.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPPittsburgh PenguinsGPGAP
Claude Giroux32111829Jake Guentzel26161531
Cam Atkinson33131124Evan Rodrigues32141428
Travis Konecny3351419Kris Letang2812324
Sean Couturier2961117Sidney Crosby2051722
Joel Farabee2610515Jeff Carter279817

Players To Watch 1-6

Cam Atkinson scored on Tuesday to snap a five-game goalless drought following his hat trick against the Devils on Dec. 14. Despite that, he had four assists over the five games as well.

Since returning from injury, Bryan Rust has been flat-out dominant. He has only played in 14 games this season and produced seven goals and 17 points, but five goals and eight points have come in just the last two games since his return.

Goalie Matchup 1-6

Carter Hart will get the start for the Flyers. Hart settled into his last start, making his return to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 16. In taking the loss to the Ducks, he allowed three goals on 29 shots faced.

Tristan Jarry is expected to get the start for the Penguins. Jarry did enter in relief in Wednesday's game against the Blues, making saves on all 13 shots he faced and earning the win. Jarry has won five straight starts and has six straight wins for Pittsburgh dating back to Dec. 1. In that time, he has not allowed more than two goals in a game.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 1-6

Flyers Scratches: Claude Giroux (COVID protocol), Ivan Provorov (COVID protocol), Travis Konecny (COVID protocol), Travis Sanheim (COVID protocol), Nick Seeler (COVID protocol), Jackson Cates (COVID protocol), Sean Couturier (injury), Ryan Ellis (injury), Nate Thompson (injury), Gerry Mayhew (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 1-6

Penguins Scratches: Drew O'Connor (COVID protocol), Evgeni Malkin (injury), Jason Zucker (injury), Kasper Bjorkqvist (healthy), Mark Friedman (healthy), Juuso Riikola (healthy), Radim Zohorna (healthy)

Lineup Notes
  • Flyers: Travis Sanheim and Travis Konecny both were added to COVID protocol on Wednesday. Egor Zamula and Connor Bunnaman were called up in their place. Derick Brassard will also make his return from injury and a stay on the COVID list as well.
  • Penguins: Jeff Carter came out of COVID protocol on Wednesday and could return to the lineup for Pittsburgh. No other changes are expected.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (27th), Penguins (23rd)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (17th), Penguins (1st)
  • Recent History vs. Penguins
    • Nov. 4, 2021 - Penguins 3, Flyers 2 (F/OT) (at PIT)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Penguins
    • Claude Giroux - 60 GP, 20 G, 43 A, 63 P
    • Joel Farabee - 11 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 P
    • Derick Brassard - 28 GP, 7 G, 17 A, 24 P
    • Carter Hart - 8 GP, 4-2-1, 2.56 GAA, .921 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Derick Brassard needs two goals to reach 200 for his career.

Where to Watch
TV: ESPN+/Hulu
Radio: Flyers Broadcast Network

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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