The Battle for Pennsylvania Heads Outdoors

By Glenn Kaplan, Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers will be taking their rivalry outside at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia in the Stadium Series on Saturday Feb. 23. This game will be on NBC with puck drop scheduled for 8 p.m.

This is the second time in three seasons these two teams will be playing each other outdoors. They played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2017 and the Penguins won that contest 4-2.

A lot will be at stake heading into this game. Pittsburgh is currently in a playoff spot, but it is trying to move up in the standings. Philadelphia sits six points back of a wild card spot.

These two teams just faced each other last Monday night in Philadelphia with the Penguins winning 4-1.

In that game, Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin was assessed a 10-minute game misconduct for swinging his stick at Philadelphia left winger Michael Raffl. What set off Malkin was that Raffl checked him in the neck and he wanted to get back at him. Malkin was suspended one game because of his actions.

The intensity of this rivalry is clear when a player of Malkin’s caliber resorts to such barbaric behavior.

This could be an interesting battle to keep an eye on during the outdoor match up. These two teams don’t like each other at all.

The rivalry seemed to be irrelevant after the 2012 postseason, but since then, they have been playing in many prominent games and they faced each other in the playoffs last season. This rivalry is starting to heat up again.

The NHL’s outdoor games have become a watered-down spectacle since they began at the start of the decade. Using this rivalry as a way to get attention toward them again is a smart play by the league office.

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