Florida Panthers 4-7-4 (17 points) at Philadelphia Flyers 8-9-1 (17 points)
The Florida Panthers begin a short two game road trip tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. Florida is coming off a winless four game home stand in which they lost in overtime in three consecutive games before being shutout 3-0 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite logging 37 shots, Florida could not solve Toronto netminder Ben Scrivens.
The Panthers have not won a game since the last time they played Philadelphia on Feb. 7th. The Panthers won that game 3-2 in a shootout, receiving beautiful shootout goals by Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller. While the Panthers have gone winless since then, Philadelphia has won four of seven including their last two. The Flyers embarrassed the Islanders 7-0 Monday and then were victorious 6-5 in the always spirited matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tonight is the final matchup between these teams this season. The Flyers took the first game 7-1 led by a Matt Read hat trick. The Panthers evened the series with the aforementioned 3-2 shootout victory. Philadelphia is currently tied for the 8th spot in the East with 17 points while Florida occupies the 14th spot with 12 points.
Players to Watch:
Matt Read has four goals (out of seven total) this year against the Panthers. He has average a point per game for his career against Florida. The Panthers may have caught a break as Read is questionablefor tonight’s game after sustaining an upper body injury last night in Pittsburgh.
Speaking of last night, two Flyers will be coming into tonights game red hot off their win over the Penguins. Jacob Voracek scored a hat trick last night bringing his goal total on the season to six. Voracek score his first two goals of the night within a 28 second time span, albeit split by the second intermission.
Wayne Simmonds scored a hat trick of a different sort. Simmonds recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick which includes scoring a goal, an assist and getting into a fight. Simmonds actually scored two goals to bring his total on the season to six.
Here is the lineup the Panthers could go with per NHL.com:
- Jose Theodore will apparently be getting the start tonight in Philadelphia. Newly called up Jacob Markstrom will be a healthy scratch although he will probably get the start Friday against the Penguins.
- Another note on the goalies, if Markstrom is going to be up with the Panthers for a while I would expect the team to make a trade of some sort. I don’t see the team keeping three goalies on the roster.
- Alex Kovalev will be a healthy scratch tonight so I am assuming that means Versteeg is back in the lineup. Kevin Dineen swapped Goc and Weiss in the Panther’s last game, whether he does this again tonight remains to be seen. Update: I forgot about the Panthers calling up Santorelli the other day. It appears Versteeg is still injured and Santo will be getting the nod.
- Tomas Fleischmann is one goal away from 100 career NHL goals.