On the day after the Greatest Late-Game Comeback Win in the franchise's 41-season history, the Flyers said they know they will need more than one-plus solid period to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in this afternoon's matinee at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers were missing in action in the first two periods of Thursday's riveting, 6-5, shoot-out triumph over dazed Carolina.
Pittsburgh is different from Carolina.
"There aren't many times in this league where you can play 20 minutes and win a game, but we were able to sneak one out," winger Scott Hartnell said after yesterday's practice in Voorhees. "Usually, if you take five or 10 minutes off, you're behind the eight ball. I guess we're lucky in that respect, but against the Pens, we have to play a solid 60 minutes. They have too many guys who can hurt you."
The Flyers allowed two power-play goals and faced a 5-1 deficit after two periods Thursday.
"It's not a habit you want to get into," coach John Stevens said, "but you could just feel the energy out there today. Guys felt good about themselves and about coming back."
The only other time the Flyers overcame a four-goal deficit in a victory was in 1988, when they climbed out of a 5-1 hole and defeated host Detroit, 11-6. The Flyers trailed by just 6-4 going into the third period. It was one of nine games Stevens played in his Flyers career.
The explosive Penguins, 9-2 winners over the Islanders on Thursday, are tied with the Flyers for second place in the Atlantic Division with 36 points, though the Penguins have played one more game. Both teams have overcome a slew of injuries.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (2.86 goals-against average), sidelined since Nov. 15 with a groin injury, made the trip and could return to the lineup today. If not, Dany Sabourin (2.20 GAA) will get the call.
Marty Biron (2.95 GAA) will be in goal for the Flyers today and will face the league's top two scorers, Evgeni Malkin (48 points) and Sidney Crosby (44).
The Flyers have lost both games against the Penguins this season, one in overtime, the other in a shoot-out.
"They seemed to score goals at will," Stevens said of the Penguins' win Thursday. "We can't allow that track meet to happen if we expect to win."
Breakaways. Flyers defenseman Matt Carle, sidelined the last five games because of a back/rib injury, went through a full practice without much pain yesterday and is expected to return to the lineup today, Stevens said. "Nothing was ripping at me, so it was something I can handle," Carle said. . . . Defenseman Randy Jones, rehabilitating from hip surgery, may be able to play Tuesday, though Stevens wasn't overly optimistic. . . . Some tickets remain for the game.