Flyers-Panthers: Game 58 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

This could be the Flyers biggest test yet. Thursday night marks the first game back on the ice since a crushing 5-3 defeat to the Islanders where at least one standings point was snatched from their grasp with a last-minute goal.

The Flyers next opponent is one they defeated just days ago. The Flyers took care of the Florida Panthers in a 4-1 win on Monday night. Now the two teams meet again in Florida on Thursday night.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Florida Panthers GP G A P
Sean Couturier 57 16 34 50 Jonathan Huberdeau 56 19 49 68
Travis Konecny 54 19 28 47 Aleksander Barkov 53 16 39 55
Jake Voracek 57 11 32 43 Mike Hoffman 56 21 25 46
Claude Giroux 57 15 26 41 Evgenii Dadonov 56 23 18 41
James van Riemsdyk  57 16 18 34 Keith Yandle 56 5 35 40
 
Player to Watch
14 Sean Couturier 11 Jonathan Huberdeau
Last 5 Games: 3 G, 1 A, 4 P, +4 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 2 A, 2 P, -2
 
Sean Couturier didn't have the strongest game against the Islanders, despite getting the game-tying goal in the closing moments of the third period, and he has another tough task having to defend one of the best two-way forwards in the game in Aleksander Barkov. As one of the leaders of the team, he will need to deliver a solid performance to get the Flyers back on the right track.
 
Jonathan Huberdeau has struggled lately with just two points in the last five games and no goals in that time. With that in mind, Huberdeau came close to scoring several times in Monday's game, none closer than when he hit the post with a wide open net in the final minute of the third. He could be close to breaking out with a great performance.
 
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 72 Sergei Bobrovsky
33 GP, 16-11-3, 2.55 GAA, .908 SV% 43 GP, 20-16-5, 3.27 GAA, .898 SV%

Carter Hart made his return from injury against Florida on Monday night, making 30 saves in a 4-1 win. Hart allowed an early goal to the Panthers in the first period before locking things down to secure the win.

Sergei Bobrovsky allowed three goals on 33 shots in Monday's loss, the fourth straight for him. In the last three games, Bobrovsky has allowed 12 goals. Bobrovsky has typically been a thorn in the Flyers side for years, but this season, he has struggled at times and looked much more beatable than in past years. He will be looking to snap his losing streak on Thursday.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Nolan Patrick (migrane disorder, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma, out for season)

Scratches: Shayne Gostisbehere, Morgan Frost

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
49 Joel Farabee 13 Kevin Hayes 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk 21 Scott Laughton 18 Tyler Pitlick
12 Michael Raffl 82 Connor Bunnaman 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 5 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 61 Justin Braun  
Goalie    
79 Carter Hart 37 Brian Elliott  

Lineup Notes

The Flyers will make no changes to the lineup ahead of Thursday's game against the Panthers.

Panthers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Chris Drieder, Brian Boyle

Scratches: Denis Malgin, Jayce Hawryluk

Left Wing Center Right Wing
11 Jonathan Huberdeau 16 Aleksander Barkov 63 Evgenii Dadonov
68 Mike Hoffman 21 Vincent Trocheck 10 Brett Connolly
77 Frank Vatrano 14 Dominic Toninato 7 Colton Sceviour
19 Michael Matheson 55 Noel Acciari 13 Mark Pysyk
Defense    
52 MacKenzie Weegar 5 Aaron Ekblad  
61 Riley Stillman 6 Anton Stralman  
3 Keith Yandle 2 Josh Brown  
Goalie    
72 Sergei Bobrovsky 33 Samuel Montembeault  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-19th), Panthers (9th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (12th), Panthers (24th)
  • Recent History vs. Panthers
    • Nov. 19, 2019 – Panthers 5, Flyers 2 (at FLA)
    • Feb. 10, 2020 – Flyers 4, Panthers 1 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Panthers
    • Claude Giroux – 39 GP, 10 G, 15 A, 25 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 31 GP, 9 G, 10 A, 19 P
    • Travis Konecny – 10 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 P
    • Carter Hart – 3 GP, 1-2-0, 2.82 GAA, .918 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs two power-play assists to pass Bobby Clarke for first on the Flyers all-time list.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN