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Thursday, January 8th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (13-17-9-2) at Philadelphia Flyers(20-7-10-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A night after concluding an eight-game road trip, the Philadelphia Flyers return to the comforts of the Wachovia Center when they host the Florida Panthers.

The Flyers finished their trek 2-3-2-1, including Wednesday's 1-1 tie in Buffalo. John LeClair scored the lone goal for the Flyers, who have not skated on home ice since December 20. Philly was frustrated throughout the night by the Sabres' Martin Biron, who stopped 44 shots -- 17 in the first period.

Robert Esche finished with 20 saves for the Flyers, and improved to 3-1-1 since making his return from a groin injury.

Philadelphia's leading scorer Jeremy Roenick was struck in the left cheek by a slap shot in practice Tuesday, but played against Buffalo despite receiving 26 stitches to close the wound.

With 54 points, the Flyers lead the Atlantic division by four over New Jersey. They sit three off the pace of East-leading Toronto.

Philadelphia, which lost three of its last four at home before the recent road trip, will host Edmonton on Saturday in the second portion of a three-game stand.

Florida, meanwhile, is 2-1-2 in its last five tries, including last Saturday's 1-0 win over visiting Columbus. Roberto Luongo made 42 saves en route to his third shutout of the season and the 19th blanking of his career.

Stephen Weiss scored the lone goal for the Panthers, who moved to 4-5-7-2 in their last 18 contests overall. The tally ended a seven-game drought for the former first-rounder.

The Panthers, who are 0-3-3-1 in their last seven road tilts, begin a four- game venture tonight. They'll visit Calgary on Saturday.

Philadelphia defeated Florida, 2-1, last Friday for its second win in as many tries against the Panthers this season. The Flyers are 7-1-2 in the last 10 clashes.

01/08 10:26:35 ET


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