Flyers-Panthers: Game 67 Preview

Florida trip concludes as Flyers meet Panthers

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Photo: Kate Frese/Flyerdelphia

The Flyers first Florida trip, which opened the season in October, was a total disaster, ending with an embarrassing 7-1 loss at the hands of the Panthers.

Two nights later, in the Flyers home opener, a 1-0 win was the first of now 32 wins on the season after Friday night's 3-1 win in Tampa.

The Flyers cap off another Florida trip in Sunrise by facing the Panthers for the final time this season, looking to keep things rolling after winning six of their last seven games.

Faceoff from Sunrise is set for 7 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Panthers Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 63 18 39 57 Jaromir Jagr 64 23 28 51
Jakub Voracek 60 10 38 48 Jussi Jokinen 67 13 36 49
Wayne Simmonds 66 24 23 47 Vincent Trocheck 67 20 25 45
Brayden Schenn 64 23 23 46 Jonathan Huberdeau 61 12 32 44
Shayne Gostisbehere 48 14 23 37 Aleksander Barkov 51 20 22 42
 
Player to Watch
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 68 Jaromir Jagr
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, -1 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, +1
 
It's a homecoming for Shayne Gostisbehere and in his first game against the Panthers in his career. There was a key difference in Friday's game, the second time the Lightning got to see the rookie defenseman. With family and friends in attendance, keep an eye on Gostisbehere.  
 
On the other end of the spectrum, Jaromir Jagr continues to be one of the best forwards in hockey. With 23 goals on the season, Jagr is two goals shy of matching his highest goal-scoring total for a season since 2007-08. All at the age of 44. 
 
Goalie Matchup
35 Steve Mason 1 Roberto Luongo
16-15-7, 2.56 GAA, .916 SV% 28-16-6, 2.32 GAA, .923 SV%

With the news that Michal Neuvirth is out with a stomach virus, Steve Mason makes another start in goal. Mason allowed four goals on eight shots to the Panthers in his second start of the season, so this should be a game where he is looking for a better performance. Mason is making his fourth straight start and has allowed a total of three goals in the last three games.

Statistically, Roberto Luongo is having his best season since 2010-11 when he helped the Vancouver Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final. However, he sits 10th in save percentage and outside the Top-15 in GAA in the NHL, somewhat unusual for the perennial All-Star. Luongo has also had two excellent games against the Flyers, allowing two goals on a combined 72 shots in one win and one loss.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Evgeny Medvedev, R.J. Umberger, Jordan Weal, Jake Voracek, Michael Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 14 Sean Couturier 89 Sam Gagner
21 Scott Laughton 52 Nick Cousins 24 Matt Read
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 25 Ryan White
Defense    
47 Andrew MacDonald 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
55 Nick Schultz 32 Mark Streit  
23 Brandon Manning 3 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
35 Steve Mason    

No lineup changes again for the Flyers, who will roll out the same lines as the previous three games.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (14th, 10th on road), Panthers (27th, T-13th at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (21st, 18th on road), Panthers (T-12th, 22nd at home) 
  • Recent History vs. Panthers
    • Oct. 10, 2015 – It was a disastrous start for the Flyers in what would be a 7-1 loss in Florida to the Panthers. Florida struck for four goals on eight shots in the first 6:46 of the game, with goals coming from Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen. Jaromir Jagr scored twice and Smith capped off the scoring with a goal in the third. Mark Streit scored the only goal for the Flyers. Steve Mason allowed four goals on eight shots before being pulled for Michal Neuvirth, who made 19 saves on 22 shots.
    • Oct. 12, 2015 – The Flyers had a short memory, coming back two nights after the 7-1 debacle for a 1-0 win over Florida in this season's home opener. Brayden Schenn scored at 5:57 for the game's only goal as Michal Neuvirth stopped 31 shots.
  • Flyers leaders vs. Panthers
    • Claude Giroux – 27 games, 6 goals, 10 assists, 16 points
    • Matt Read - 14 games, 6 goals, 2 assists, 8 points
    • Brayden Schenn - 14 games, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points
    • Steve Mason - 11 games, 7-3-1, 1.86 GAA, .942 Sv%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Scott Laughton plays in his 100th NHL game tonight
    • Brayden Schenn needs 1 assist to reach 100 in the NHL and 2 assists to reach 100 as a Flyer

Where to Watch
TV: CSN
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.