FLORIDA PANTHERS: 3-5-1 (7 PTS.) vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: 4-6-0 (8 PTS.)
Game Day Song: Tenth Avenue Freeze Out. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
The Florida Panthers will be looking to regroup after losing Tuesday night to the Winnipeg Jets with six seconds remaining in overtime by a score of 4-3. A game which saw the Panthers tighten up defensively, yet not enough to hold on for victory. The Panthers will also be looking to avenge themselves from the last meeting against the Flyers which saw Philadelphia pound them 7-1 as Flyer Matt Read picked up his first career hat trick. The Panthers who we reeling at the time, have turned their game around, gotten healthy, and have played much better since then. This will be game three of a four game road trip, and while they can’t be unhappy with three out of four points in two games, that can all change with a loss tonight.
The Panthers have allowed an average of 3.67 goals per game which is tied for second worst in the league will benefit from the presence of Erik Gudbranson who should make his season debut tonight. An interesting stat from Tuesday’s game against the Jets is that the Panthers allowed only three shots against in the first period, and two each in the third and overtime. However the Jets managed 14 in the second frame, and that’s where they picked up two goals to tie the game. The Panthers had won the previous two games firing 67 combined shots, while managing a season low 19 against Winnipeg on Tuesday. The power play was held scoreless as was Peter Mueller who’s four game goal streak came to an end. However, the play of rookie Drew Shore has continued to impress as he played another strong game with his hard skating, and driving to the net. His solid effort rewarded him with his second NHL assist on Jonathan Huberdeau’s goal in the first period which gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead. The trio of Shore, Huberdeau and Mueller has been making teams take notice, and is looking more and more like the surprise line of the year. If they can all find some consistency, and Shore can pick up his first goal to get some additional confidence, they’ll be a force to reckon with. [Read more…]