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Flyers Look to Cage Panthers

 

The Philadelphia Flyers (8-4-3) will face the new-look Florida Panthers (8-4-3) this afternoon at 5:00 pm EST.

Matchup

This is the first of four meetings between these two teams.

The Flyers come into tonight's action leading the league in goals per game (3.80). The Panthers also have the ability to put the puck in the net; they rank 10th in the league averaging 2.87 goals per game.

Although the Panthers let Thomas Vokoun walk in the offseason, they still rank in the top half of the league in ‘goals against’, averaging 2.40 per game (9th).

The Flyers have struggled mightily this season to keep the puck out of their net. Untimely penalties, bad bounces, and poor defensive zone coverage contribute to their 3.00 ‘goals against’ average (24th).

When it comes to the man advantage Florida has the better success rate connecting 24.1% of the time (4th). Philadelphia manages to find the back of the net 19.2% of the time (10th).

The penalty kill is a weak point for the Panthers. They only kill off their opponents penalties 75.6% of the time (26th).

The Flyers have successfully killed off 84.5% of penalties taken this season (12th).

After proving to be a bust for the Flyers last season, Kris Versteeg has found some success in Florida

Versteeg is leading the Panthers in goals with 8 and points with 17. He also scored his first career hat trick on Thursday night. Defenseman Brian Campbell is second with 15, followed by Thomas Fleischmann with 14, Stephen Weiss and Dimitri Kulikov both with 12.

The Panthers starting defense has a combined point total of 46. The Flyers wingers will have to keep an eye out for them jumping into offensive rushes.

The Claude Giroux line leads the team in points; Giroux has 19, followed by Jagr with 15 and Hartnell with 13. Both Jagr and Hartnell are tied with 6 goals each while Giroux leads the team with 9.

 

In The Nets

With tonight being the first of back-to-back games, look for Ilya Bryzgalov (4-2-1, 2.85 GAA) to get the start and Sergei Bobrovsky to get the nod Monday. Bryzgalov has found his way out of the woods and has looked strong in recent starts.

Jose Theodore should be starting for the Panthers tonight. He has started the majority of Florida's games this season and is 6-2-2 with a 2.39 GAA. Theodore wears his blocker on his left hand, which is unique. It will be interesting to see if the Flyers will attempt more shots from the right-wing side.

 

What The Puck Do You Think?

 

Will Versteeg score?

Will Meszaros wake up?

Who will be the best player for the Flyers tonight?

 

Step Up Players

 

Briere

Meszaros

JVR

2 Comments

Matt Bernot's picture

OOOH! Questions...I (think) I got answers:

1: No, Versteeg's not getting one past Bryzgalov tonight.

2: Yes, Meszaros has been awake for every game this season; and playing like a normal #5 D-man. Last season, he played like #2 D-man so what's basically happened is, Meszaros set a bar roughly 1.5 standard deviations higher than he should have been and now he's regressed.

Now as for why he's regressed: Maybe SOD carried him more than we thought? Maybe that wrist injury he had offseason surgery on never healed? Maybe last year was a one year wonder for Meszaros and the guy who played for TBL is the "real Mesz"?

I really hope last year wasn't in a flash in the pan for Meszaros, but if it was, he doesn't have an NTC/NMC so the Flyers can solve that problem by shipping him out

3. Best player for the Flyers...I'm torn...I think Matt Read's love of south Florida on twitter is going to translate into a big game tonight

Also: The Flyers in a stretch with long off periods between games, when that happens, don't be surprised if it takes them a while to get their legs going tonight, especially with the odd start time of 5:00p on a Sunday.

Larry DAngelo's picture

All good points Matt !
Versteeg will score tonight , Meszaros may wake up but it won't be tonight, Jagr be the man tonight