PANTHERS (2-5-1) at FLYERS (4-2-1)
Season series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. On Oct. 16 at the Bank Atlantic Center, Radek Dvorak broke a 2-2 tie at 7:02 of the third period with a shorthanded goal, and Steven Reinprecht added an empty-net goal for a 4-2 Panthers victory, that snapped a four-game losing streak. Stephen Weiss had a goal and an assist for the Panthers and Scott Clemmensen made 25 saves in his first game as a Panther. Arron Asham and Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers.
Big Story: Can the Panthers get their top players on track? Their top line of David Booth, Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss has a combined 5 goals and minus-15 rating.
Panthers -- The good news is Florida scored a pair of early goals to take a 2-0 lead on the Stanley Cup champions Friday in Pittsburgh. The bad was they couldn't finish off the Penguins and eventually suffered a 3-2 shootout loss. "I thought we played a good road game, did a lot of good things," Florida coach Peter DeBoer told the Miami Herald. "The story of the game wasn't the penalties. It was that we couldn't get a third goal. We had a lot of opportunities; we could have had four or five. We need to find a way to get more than two goals."
Flyers -- It took a while, but the Flyers were able to shake off the rust of a layoff that saw them play just one game in a 12-day span that ended Thursday against Boston. "We needed to win a game like that where it wasn't easy," he said. "You had to work hard to score. I thought the third period we got back to working where we had waves coming at them, there wasn't the ebbs and flow, there was more sustained pressure, which we wanted to see."
Who's Hot -- Flyers defenseman Matt Carle has 7 points in his last five games and leads the team in scoring with 9 points. Florida center Steven Reinprecht has goals in three straight games, including 2 goals Friday against Pittsburgh.
Injury Report -- The Flyers will be without defenseman Ryan Parent, due to a lower-body injury. Fourth-line center Blair Betts continues to make progress from a dislocated right shoulder and could return sometime next week. Florida forward Nick Tarnasky is on injured reserve due to a fractured orbital bone.
Stat Pack -- This is the second straight time the Flyers will play a team in the second game of a back-to-back set. They beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout Thursday, one night after the Bruins had won in Nashville. They'll make it three straight when they face San Jose on Sunday, a night after the Sharks are in Atlanta.
Puck Drop -- Florida played well for two periods Friday night in Pittsburgh, but they allowed a 2-0 lead to evaporate into a 3-2 shootout defeat.
"Maybe we're a little fragile and maybe today was a step in the right direction, but we need to hold onto the lead,'' defenseman Keith Ballard told the Miami Herald. "That was two goals on the road. At this point we've given a lot of opportunities away. We were beating a good team for two periods. To have that kind of third is frustrating.''
One reason the Panthers are struggling is a deficiency on special teams. Florida is 26th in the League on the power play (14.3 percent) and 24th on the penalty kill (74.3 percent).
-- Adam Kimelman, NHL.com