Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin to meet Flyers for first time since stick-swinging suspension |
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Jonathan Bombulie

PHILADELPHIA – In the old days of the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, there’s little doubt Evgeni Malkin would have been starting off Saturday’s Stadium Series game with a fight.

These days, it’s no sure thing.

The last time the teams met Feb. 11 at Wells Fargo Center, Malkin received a match penalty for swinging his stick at the head of Flyers forward Michael Raffl. Malkin, who acted in retaliation after Raffl punched him in the back of the head, received a one-game suspension.

With the NHL’s revenge culture growing less pronounced in recent years, bad blood might carry over, but it might not.

“I think it’s like that whenever we play these guys,” winger Jake Guentzel said. “You know it’s going to be physical. It’s a big two points. We both need these points right now. It’s going to be that type of game, I think.”

Malkin didn’t do interviews after Friday’s practice.

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