THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.
Florida Panthers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
|Place||7th in Atlantic||3rd in Metropolitan|
Looking to build on the momentum gained from their 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Sunday, the Florida Panthers welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to BB&T Center tonight for their 7:30 p.m. clash. The Flyers have recovered from a slow start to their season and are currently on the verge of qualifying for the playoffs. The Cats, on the other hand, will be happy to deal another playoff set-back after spoiling the party for the Stars in their last game.
Here is tonight’s lowdown:
Not These Flyers
Or These Ones
Tonight will be the third and final game between the Panthers and Flyers this season. The Flyers took the first game 2-1 in October while the Cats came out on top 3-1 in November. Florida’s win came on a big night for Sean Bergenheim who recorded his first and second goals of the season in the victory, a huge milestone for the forward as the scores were his first since returning from the injuries that caused him to miss all of the 2012-13 season.
Erik Gudbranson also got his first goal of the season in the game; a third period blast that found its way through Flyers goaltender Steve Mason.
Pre-game Tweet of the Day
Keep ‘em coming!!
The Flyers got off to an awful 1-7 start to their season. The tumultuous October included the firing of then head coach Peter Laviolette just three games into the season. With replacement Craig Berube at the helm, Philadelphia has overcome its sluggish start and the team has now all but qualified for the big dance.
Philly currently has a 99.5% chance of qualifying for the playoffs with the only undecided factor being their first round opponent. It looks like the Flyers will be taking on the Rangers in the first round but if they get caught by the Blue Jackets and end up as a wild card team, the Flyers would end up playing one of the division winners (either Pittsburgh or Boston depending on where the other wild card team would end up).
It is all kinds of confusing but all you really need to know is that the Flyers have a 77.8% of playing the Rangers in the first round. That matchup really only changes if the Blue Jackets (87 points) catch the Flyers (89 points).
Red Hot Cats to Watch
With a goal and an assist against the Stars on Sunday, Pirri stretched his scoring streak to four games. The 22-year-old has five points (3-2-5) in that span as well as 12 points (6-6-12) in his last 15 games.
Luongo was on point Sunday against the Stars stopping 35 of the 37 shots Dallas threw his way. Lu has demonstrated that he still has the ability to take over games that made him so beloved during his first tenure in South Florida.
Giroux Kids On The Block
The poster boy for Philly’s early season struggles was Flyers captain Claude Giroux who did not record his first goal until his 16th game of the season. Its no surprise that as Giroux picked up momentum on the score sheet, the Flyers started gaining ground in the standings. Now Giroux has 79 (25-54-79) points and those early season struggles are long forgotten.
He’s also a bit of a chatty Kathy on the ice:
Pick a Panther
(Selecting a Panthers player to score in tonight’s game)
Current streak: 0
A fun way to add some excitement to your Panthers viewing experience is by picking one of the Panthers’ goal scorers for every game. I will be picking players for the remainder of the season and if you want to play along, tweet your picks to @FlaPanthers, #PickaPanther. If you pick right, you might get a retweet (commitment is not really my thing)…
Pat’s Pick: Scottie Upshall
Goals in two straight for Scottie? You bet’cha. Upshall played in three seasons for the Flyers and its always fun to score against a former team. Plus, little fun fact here, Scottie has scored goals against every team in the NHL except for …… the Flyers and the Winnipeg Jets. I think he cuts that list in half tonight.
Enjoy the game.
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