NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 16th (All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (37-14-5) at Florida Panthers (24-24-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After winning a key battle in the race for the Eastern Conference's top seed, the Philadelphia Flyers will aim for a second straight victory when they visit the Florida Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center.
The Flyers notched a shootout victory Tuesday night in Tampa and moved five points in front of the Lightning for first place in the East. Philadelphia also avoided getting swept by Tampa in the season series.
Philadelphia will be shooting for a bit of revenge tonight after the Panthers destroyed the Flyers in the last meeting between the clubs on Dec. 20. Florida earned a 5-0 victory in that road test to even the season series at one win apiece.
Florida has taken four of six and six of the last nine encounters in this series overall and Philly has dropped three in a row and six of eight in Sunrise.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen registered the game-winning goal in the seventh round of Tuesday's shootout, lifting the Flyers to the 4-3 decision at St. Pete Times Forum.
In the seventh shootout round, Timonen used a double-deke move near the top of the crease to beat Tampa goaltender Dwayne Roloson. Flyers netminder Brian Boucher then stopped Marty St. Louis' attempt as Philadelphia skated off with the extra point.
"I wanted to come in at full speed, force (Roloson) to make the first move and then jam it in with the forehand," said Timonen.
James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell, and Darroll Powe scored in regulation for the Flyers. Boucher made 24 saves in the victory.
Kris Versteeg, who came to Philadelphia in Monday's trade with Toronto, made his Flyers debut against the Lightning. The forward finished with two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in 17-plus minutes of action.
Philadelphia has won four of its last five road games and is 18-6-3 as the visiting team this season. After tonight, the Flyers have two stops left on a four-game road trip.
The Panthers are currently seven points out of a playoff spot and recently won for just the third time in 12 games.
Florida ended a two-game slide Sunday against visiting San Jose, as Chris Higgins and Jason Garrison both scored in the third period to lift the Panthers to the 3-2 decision.
"It seems like we've been on the losing end of a lot [of one-goal games], so it feels good," Higgins said.
Mike Santorelli also lit the lamp for the Panthers, who snapped a five-game winless streak at home and improved to 12-9-6 as the host this season. Marty Reasoner collected two assists and Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves.
The Panthers are 1-1-1 so far on a five-game homestand that is set to end Friday against Detroit.
02/16 11:06:58 ET