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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 20th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (14-16-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (22-7-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The sizzling Philadelphia Flyers will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they welcome the Florida Panthers to Wells Fargo Center tonight.

The Flyers have won five straight and can tie their six-game winning streak from Oct. 26-Nov. 6 with another victory tonight.

Philadelphia, which leads the NHL with 49 points, has also recorded a point in eight straight games (7-0-1) and has suffered only one regulation loss over its last 14 outings. The Flyers are 10-1-3 during that stretch.

The Flyers also enter tonight with wins in two straight and three of their last four home games. Philly is 12-5-2 as the host on the season.

Peter Laviolette's club picked up their most recent win on home ice when they downed the New York Rangers, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon. Nikolay Zherdev scored two goals and Brian Boucher made 24 saves to help the Flyers notch the victory over their Atlantic Division rivals.

Zherdev has scored a goal in three straight games, picking up four of his 13 markers this season during that span.

Ville Leino and Andreas Nodl also tallied for the Flyers in Saturday's triumph.

"We did a good job of keeping them to the outside," said Flyers captain Mike Richards. "Their only strong chance that they had was the one that they scored on. Other than that, some shots (Boucher) stayed tall when he needed to be."

Saturday's game was Philadelphia's first since defenseman Chris Pronger broke his foot last Wednesday in Montreal. The Flyers' workhorse underwent surgery on Friday and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.

The Flyers notched a 5-2 home win over the Panthers when the clubs met back on Nov. 13. Richards and Claude Giroux had two goals each for Philly, which recorded just its third win in the last eight meetings with Florida.

The Panthers and Flyers have split the last six times they've met in Philadelphia.

Florida is kicking off a three-game road trip tonight and will also make stops in Pittsburgh and Buffalo during the swing. The Panthers have lost three of their last five road tests and are just 7-10-0 away from the Sunshine State this season.

The Panthers hosted the Sabres in their last game on Friday and Florida recorded a 6-2 victory. Marty Reasoner scored twice during a four-goal first- period outburst, helping Florida rout the Sabres at BankAtlantic Center.

Reasoner had gone 11 games without a goal before Friday and now has six markers on the season.

"I had been getting some chances that weren't going on, so getting these two gets the confidence going," said Reasoner. "Whenever they pushed us tonight we responded and it was a big win."

Stephen Weiss and Michael Frolik also tallied for the Panthers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Tomas Vokoun made a season-high 41 saves and recorded the win in his 600th career game. Vokoun is 6-6-1 with a pair of ties and a 2.78 GAA in 16 career starts against the Flyers.

Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to get the start in net for Philadelphia. The rookie netminder stopped 34-of-36 shots in the win over the Panthers earlier this season.

12/20 11:08:32 ET


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