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
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
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