Game Day Flyers / Panthers
The Philadelphia Flyers (10-4-2) will try to extend their winning streak at home to six when they host the Florida Panthers (7-7-0) tonight at 7:00 pm. This is the first of four meetings between these two teams this season.
The Flyers are coming off 8-1 demolition of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.The Flyers came out strong on the forecheck from the drop of the puck, when they play like that they look to be unstoppable.
The Florida Panthers come into Philly fresh off of a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild last night. Just like the Hurricanes Thursday night, the Panthers will be looking for their first three game win streak of the season tonight at the WFC.
The Flyers seem to have trouble against certain teams and the Panthers are one of those teams. Even though the Flyers hold the overall matchup advantage at 37-25-7 and a home record of 15-14-6, the Flyers haven't faired well lately against the Panthers. The Panthers won three of the four games last year versus the Flyers and are 11-4-1 since 2006-2007 season.
The only game the Flyers won last year was the 5-1 game that saw Mike Richards hit David Booth and knock him unconscious,Booth was taken out on a stretcher and missed almost three months of action.That hit started the ball rolling towards the new head shot rule in the NHL.
The last time these two teams met was on March 3 of last season. In that game Booth sought revenge and challenged Richards to a fight which Richards kindly obliged. Booth also notched four points in that game leading the Panthers to a 7-1 victory.
The Flyers as of late are playing strong hockey, outscoring their opponents 34-14 in their last eight games and only losing once.
In The Nets
The Flyers will go with Sergei Bobrovsky (9-2-1) 2.09 GAA .931 SV%. He is coming off of a 35 save performance against the Canes.He has been hot and keeping the Flyers in games that in the past they would certainly be out of. Since late October he has a record of 7-0-1 with a 1.75 GAA and a .941 SV%.
For the Panthers Thomas Voukon played last night against the Wild and could be a spectator tonight.His numbers against the Flyers in Philly are not great, he is 2-4-0 with a 3.79 GAA. Backup Scott Clemmensen has better numbers versus the Flyers, he is 3-0 with a 1.92 GAA. Looks like all signs point to Clemmensen possibly getting the start tonight.
On The Lookout
For the Flyers as a team, keep an eye on the start of the game, look to see if they have the same jump they did against the Canes. That is the key thing to look for tonight as this is primed to be a let down game.
The Flyers have plenty of hot players since they last played, scoring eight goals will do that. Carter is coming off of a natural hat trick against the Canes, and Briere had a couple of his own, one of which was right after the Flyers had their first goal of the night disallowed.
Richards has been steadily showing up on the stat sheet having scored a short handed goal against the Canes and accumulating eleven points in the last ten games. Also we can't forget Leino and Giroux or their amazing passes of late. Zherdev has been showing some confidence lately and it has paid off for him, notching three goals in the last four games.
The Panthers scoring is spread throughout their lineup as they do not have a prolific scorer on the roster. David Booth leads the team in goals with five, he also has five points in the last two games versus the Flyers. The Panthers are 4-1-1 in games where Booth scores against the Flyers.
Defenseman Dennis Widemen has recorded a point in each of the Panthers last five games. Frolik is tied with Widemen and Booth for the team lead in points with ten. Thomas Vokoun has stopped 54 0f 56 shots over the last two games.
As I mentioned above, this has a chance to be a let down game. The Flyers will have to come out with that same in your face forecheck they came out with on Thursday.
They need to physically take it to the Panthers early and control the game from the start. It is important the Flyers get the lead early and carry that lead into the second period as the Flyers are 6-0-0 when leading after the first period.
Staying out of the box is always a must even if the Panthers come to town with a 10.9% success rate on the power play. Although the Flyers PK units have surrendered four goals in their last four games. When the Flyers do go down a man tonight still look for them to turn up the pressure on the PK and try to capitalize on the Panthers mistakes.
Step Up Players
Nodl, Timonen, Powe