1 2 3 SO T
Florida Panthers FLA 1 0 1 1 (2-2) 3
24 SHOTS 32
23 HITS 23
8 PIM 8
1/4 PP 1/4

Flyers look to keep home winning-streak alive

Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 11:38 AM

Philadelphia Flyers (4-6-0--8pts)


Florida Panthers (3-5-1--7pts)

TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic


The Flyers enter tonight's game looking extend their winning streak, both overall and at home… The Flyers have won two straight games and three straight on home ice, going 3-1-0 at the Wells Fargo Center so far… In the Flyers last three home games, the team has produced a power-play that has gone 50 percent (4-for-8).


Tonight is the second of three meetings against the Panthers and first of two at home for the Flyers… In their first meeting, the Flyers posted seven goals en route to a 7-1 win on Jan. 26 with Matt Read recording a hat trick… Florida, meanwhile comes into tonight's game a very different team than last time the Flyers played them… They are unbeaten in two of their last three games, going 2-0-1, and have gotten back players from injured reserve - forwards Kris Versteeg and Marcel Goc, along with defenseman Erik Gudbranson … Dating back to last year, the Flyers have gone 5-1-0 against the Panthers and are 44-25-7-2 in 78 lifetime games against Florida.


The Panthers are unbeaten in regulation in one-goal games (1-0-1) and when they are tied after the second period (2-0-1)… Dating back to the 2011-12 season, the Panthers own a 25-1-8 mark when leading after 40 minutes of play… The Panthers have allowed 21 goals while playing 5-on-5 (T-5th most in the NHL), while the Flyers have allowed just 12 goals (T-4th best in the NHL)… All five of Kimmo Timonen's points this year have come on the power play… Claude Giroux has taken 242 faceoffs this season (1st in NHL), and has a 55.4 faceoff percentage (134 wins, 108 losses)… The Flyers have killed 14 of their last 15 penalties over the past three games (93.3 percent)… Florida head coach Kevin Dineen played five seasons with the Flyers (1991-1996), while also serving as the team captain (1993-1994).

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Ilya Bryzgalov

Bryzgalov has been steady as a rock for the Flyers this season and has been in net for all but one of their 10 games so far, including making four straight starts, tonight's being his fifth… In his last six games, he has posted a 1.85 GAA and .935 save pct. while going 4-2-0… Against the Panthers, Bryz owns a 5-1-1 record to go along with a 1.40 GAA and .948 save percentage.

5. Player to watch PANTHERS: Jonathan Huberdeau

Huberdeau scored his third goal of the season in the Panthers 3-2 OT loss at Winnipeg, improving his point streak to three games (2g-1a) and is currently tied for third on the club with six points (3g-3a), while logging 15:15 of TOI per game… The 19-year-old rookie, posted a three-point game (1g-2a) in his NHL debut on Jan. 19.


"What you want to see from your team is consistency, you probably need it for 60 minutes in order to get that win and I thought our guys did that; I thought Tampa did that as well and that's the reason why it was a tight game, close game and low-scoring game."

- Peter Laviolette

The Philadelphia Flyers have followed a three-game skid with back-to-back wins for the second time this season. An offense that has mostly struggled is a major reason for that inconsistency.

Their best offensive game of the season came against the Florida Panthers, who have been among the league's worst at stopping opponents heading into their visit to Philadelphia on Thursday night.

It was good defense that led the Flyers (4-6-0) to a second straight win Tuesday, beating Tampa Bay 2-1 while improving to 3-1-0 at home.

Philadelphia held the Lightning, who had been scoring a league-best 4.9 goals per game, to season lows of one goal and 22 shots.

"Our defensemen did a good job with sticks on pucks and eliminating gaps," coach Peter Laviolette told the team's official website. "Our forwards did a good job reloading and coming back hard to our end. We blocked a lot of shots tonight and cleaned up the front of the net."

Ilya Bryzgalov, who has allowed 11 goals in his last six games, improved his save percentage to .923 in his ninth start.

"When we needed it, Bryzgalov was outstanding," Laviolette said.

Philadelphia's offensive success - or lack thereof - has largely hinged on its ability to take advantage of power plays. The Flyers have converted 2 of 30 (6.7 percent) power-play opportunities in six losses, compared to 6 of 15 (40.0 percent) in four wins.

Tuesday's win was the only one in which they failed to register a power-play goal, but Tom Sestito proved an unlikely hero as he scored both goals. Sestito had previously scored only two in his career.

"I think he was (surprised), by the look on his face," center Danny Briere said. "It's good to see different guys stepping up."

The Flyers are among the NHL's lowest-scoring teams at 2.30 goals per game, a season after finishing tied for second at 3.17. One of only two games this season in which they scored more than two goals came at Florida, winning 7-1 on Jan. 26 as Matt Read had a hat trick.

The Panthers (3-5-1) are allowing an average of 3.67 goals, tied for second-worst in the league.

They followed a five-game losing streak by winning two in a row before Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss at Winnipeg. After firing 67 shots in those two victories, they mustered a season-low 19 against the Jets.

Florida's power play was scoreless on two tries after going 4 for 8 in the previous two games, and Peter Mueller's goal streak ended at four games.

They held the Jets to 21 shots and opponents are averaging 25.0 over the last five contests. Florida yielded 37.3 shots per game through its first four.

"We worked hard and had great chances," coach Kevin Dineen said. "It feels like a loss and not so much as a point gained."

Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren said the status of forward Wayne Simmonds remains day to day. Simmonds, who has two goals and three assists in eight games, could miss a third straight contest after suffering head and neck injuries on a hit in Friday's 3-2 loss at Washington.

The Flyers have won six of the last seven meetings, holding the Panthers to two goals or fewer in all of them.

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