Game 13 Preview: Flyers look to return favor to Panthers


Steve Mason made 28 saves in the Flyers loss to the Panthers on Saturday. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

When the Flyers faced a short-handed Florida Panthers team on Saturday, they struggled to gain time in the offensive zone to make any attempt at scoring.

The Panthers didn't have the greatest offensive game, but two goals were enough.

Thursday night brings the Panthers into the Flyers home for a rematch of sorts as the Orange and Black look to avenge the loss on Saturday. The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m. from Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers begin a six-week stretch without Michael Raffl. The injury bumps Chris VandeVelde from the fourth line to Raffl's place on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.

Voracek is on a six-game points streak with three goals and eight assists in that time.

The rest of the Flyers lineup is expected to remain the same with the exception of Jason Akeson, who was a healthy scratch on Tuesday, jumping into VandeVelde's fourth-line spot.

In goal, Steve Mason will make another start after picking up his first win of the season on Tuesday, making 35 saves against the Oilers.

The Panthers got goals from Willie Mitchell and Aaron Ekblad in their win over the Flyers on Saturday.

Brad Boyes and Jussi Jokinen are tied for the team lead in points with six and may get their regular linemate back as Alexandre Barkov was on the ice on Wednesday for practice.

Tomas Fleischman, Jonathan Huberdeau and Sean Bergenheim remain scoring threats despite slow starts.

In goal, expect Roberto Luongo between the pipes for the Panthers. Luongo made 36 saves against the Flyers on Saturday and is a big reason for the Panthers 4-2-4 record. In 10 games, the Panthers have scored just 15 goals but also allowed only 20. Luongo is 4-2-3 with a 2.11 GAA.

The Panthers have played eight straight one-goal games, including Saturday's 2-1 win over the Flyers, going 4-1-3 in that time.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (13th, T-5th at home), Panthers (T-21st, 20th on road) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (23rd, T-1st at home), Panthers (25th, 20th on road) 
  • The Flyers lost to the Panthers on Nov. 1, 2-1. Vincent Lecavalier scored the only Flyers goal while Steve Mason made 28 saves.
  • Milestone Watch: R.J. Umberger needs one assist for 200 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Braydon Coburn, Andrew MacDonald, Michael Raffl, Blair Jones

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Chris VandeVelde-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: R.J Umberger-Vincent Lecavalier-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Brayden Schenn-Sean Couturier-Matt Read
Line 4: Zac RinaldoPierre-Edouard Bellemare-Jason Akeson

D-Pair 1: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 2: Michael Del Zotto-Nick Schultz
D-Pair 3: Carlo Colaiacovo-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Steve Mason

Where to Watch

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is the Managing Editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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