(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins hope to get their defense back on track and avoid a third straight loss when they visit the rival Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh is allowing 2.46 goals per game in 2014-15, tying the club with Boston for eighth in the NHL. However, the Penguins had trouble keeping the puck out of their own net over the weekend, surrendering a total of 11 goals over a pair of setbacks against Metropolitan Division rivals.
The Pens dropped a 6-3 road decision to the New York Islanders on Friday and were then dealt a 5-2 home loss by the New York Rangers on Sunday. Pittsburgh is currently sandwiched between the two New York clubs at the top of the Metro standings, with the Rangers trailing the Penguins by two points for second place and the Isles holding a five-point lead atop the division.
Marc-Andre Fleury took both losses this weekend for the Pens. The franchise goaltender allowed five goals on 34 shots against the Islanders and was pulled early in the second period on Sunday after giving up four goals to the Rangers on 17 shots.
Fleury could get a rest from Thomas Greiss over the next two days, as Pittsburgh is scheduled to complete it's pre-All-Star break docket tomorrow at home against Chicago. Fleury is 24-16-2 with a 2.88 goals against average in his career against Philly and 5-2-2 with a 2.60 GAA versus the Blackhawks. Greiss, has a lifetime 2-0 record with a 1.00 GAA in two outings against the Flyers.
Greiss stopped 13-of-14 shots after Fleury was pulled from Sunday's loss to the Rangers, who received two goals from both Rick Nash and Derek Stepan.
David Perron had a goal and an assist in the loss and Sidney Crosby also scored for the Penguins, who have lost four of their last six games and are just 4-6-2 over the last 12 games.
"When you play like that you don't give yourself a good chance of winning," said Crosby. "We have to come out with better efforts against teams like this, because they were real motivated to play this game and we weren't."
The Pens have lost six of their last seven road games to fall to 10-5-4 as the guest. They have four wins over their past six trips to Philly, but the Flyers have won five straight in the series overall.
This is the second of four meetings this season between the Flyers and Pens. Philly won 5-3 in Pittsburgh on Oct. 22 behind a three-point night from Sean Couturier, who had a goal and two assists in the road victory.
After tonight, Philly and Pittsburgh won't meet again until getting together April 1 in the Steel City.
The Flyers enter tonight's encounter with their cross-state rivals 11 points out of a playoff spot in the East and coming off a 7-4 road loss in Monday's clash with the New York Islanders.
Philadelphia never led on Monday and trailed the Islanders 3-0 at one point. Although the Flyers eventually got their offense going, the loss marked just the third time this season Philly lost when scoring four or more goals (14-2-1).
The Islanders had put up four goals just past the midway mark of the second period, resulting in the Flyers pulling netminder Rob Zepp after he stopped just 16-of-20 shots. Ray Emery saved 18-of-20 attempts in relief of Zepp.
"We've got to do a better job in front of our goalies," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "Our best defense is our offense, so we have to go play offensively and keep the puck down there."
The Flyers, who have lost three of four, received goals from Giroux, Michael Del Zotto, Mark Streit and Chris VandeVelde.
Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek added two assists apiece. Voracek has an NHL- best 55 points on 17 goals and 38 assists,
Philly blueliners Carlo Colaiacovo and Nick Schultz both left the game with an upper-body injuries and did not return. Schultz will miss tonight, while Colaiacovo is questionable.
The Flyers are already without defensemen Braydon Coburn (broken foot) and Nicklas Grossmann (upper body) and recalled D-men Oliver Lauridsen and Brandon Manning from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Both Lauridsen and Manning are available for tonight's game if needed.
The Flyers are 11-7-3 at home compared to a miserable 7-15-4 mark on the road. Philadelphia begins a five-game stay at Wells Fargo Center tonight and the second test of the homestand is scheduled for next Tuesday.