NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 16th (All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (23-12-9) at Florida Panthers (20-16-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After a five-day layoff, the Florida Panthers will try to extend their points streak to six games tonight when they welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to BankAtlantic Center.
The Panthers have scored at least four goals in each of their last five games, going 4-0-1 in that span on the heels of four straight losses. Florida is outscoring its opponents 27-15 in that span and is coming off an 8-4 victory over Atlanta on Saturday.
Ville Peltonen scored twice and Radek Dvorak added a goal and two assists, as the eight goals scored by the Panthers were the most in a single game since an 8-0 win over Toronto on February 5, 2008. Peltonen's big game came at a cost, as he suffered a broken right foot. He finished the contest but will miss at least two weeks due to the injury.
Michael Frolik, David Booth and Nathan Horton each had a goal and a helper, while Jay Bouwmeester and Cory Stillman also lit the lamp for the Panthers, who have won three in a row. Booth, who leads Florida with 18 goals and 28 points, has scored in two straight and three of his last four games. He has an assist in six straight games and six goals and seven helpers over an eight- game points streak.
Gregory Campbell ended with three assists and was named the NHL's third star back on Monday. He had two goals and four helpers last week with a plus-six rating.
Tomas Vokoun turned aside 28-of-32 shots for Florida, which trails Carolina by one point for second place in the Southeast Division. Vokoun is 3-4-0 with a pair of ties and a 2.88 goals against average in his career versus the Flyers.
Florida has won four of its last six as the host and wraps a three-game homestand tonight. The Panthers are 10-5-3 overall at BankAtlantic Center this year and after playing in Tampa on Saturday will return home for four straight.
The Flyers wrap a two-game trip in the Sunshine State tonight. They were in Tampa themselves last night, but left town with a 4-1 defeat. Joffrey Lupul gave Philadelphia an early lead, but the Lightning scored three times in a two-plus minute span in the second frame to charge ahead.
Philadelphia again failed to overtake the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division and remains one point behind New York in the standings.
Martin Biron gave up four goals on 44 shots for the Flyers, who have lost two consecutive games and four of their last six (2-2-2). Backup Antero Niittymaki is likely to face Florida's red-hot offense tonight. Niittymaki hasn't played since January 3 in part due to a groin injury and is 3-2-1 with a 2.07 GAA lifetime versus Florida.
Niittymaki might not have Philadelphia's best defenseman in front of him, as Kimmo Timonen is day-to-day after suffering a facial injury in Thursday night's contest. He left the game midway through the first period after getting hit by a deflected puck and did not return.
Philadelphia will also skate again without Daniel Briere, who will play the second contest of a two-game rehab assignment tonight with the Phantoms of the American Hockey League. In only nine games played this season due to groin and abdominal issues, Briere has five goals and four assists.
Briere could rejoin the Flyers at home versus Atlanta next Wednesday. Following that test, Philadelphia returns to Florida to begin a three-game swing. The Flyers have lost seven of their last nine on the road (2-4-3) and are 9-7-6 as the visiting club this year.
This is the first of four meetings between the Flyers and Panthers this year after they split their season series a year ago. Florida has won six of the last eight meetings, though, and three of the last four as the host.
01/16 10:40:10 ET