FLYERS (11-10-2) AT PANTHERS (6-13-5)
TV: CSN-PH, FS-F
Last 10: Philadelphia 7-1-2; Florida 3-5-2
Season series: This is the second of three games between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Florida Panthers. The Flyers won 2-1 Oct. 8 behind a 33-save effort from Steve Mason.
Big story: Since being named Panthers interim head coach in November, Peter Horachek has guided Florida to a 3-4-1 record. Florida had three wins in 16 games prior to that. The Panthers return home after finishing a five-game road trip 2-2-1.
“Good road trip. From that standpoint, going .500 and all tough games, I think that’s really positive,” Horachek said.
Winners of six of seven, having rebounded nicely from a 1-7-0 start, the Flyers look to continue their ascent up the Eastern Conference standings.
Flyers: A 5-2 win against the Islanders on Saturday capped a 3-0-0 homestand, which also included wins against the Buffalo Sabres (4-1) and Ottawa Senators (5-2).
“It’s huge. We’ve been playing better…It’s looking better, everybody's contributing and it’s a lot more fun,” Claude Girioux said.
The Flyers used three second-period goals in a three-minute span to take a 3-0 lead, which became 3-2 before Brayden Schenn and Matt Read’s goals in the third period sealed the win.
“Good homestand overall and we’ll just have to hopefully take that on the road for a couple of big games here,” Mason (36 saves) said.
Panthers: Florida lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Calgary Flames on Friday, but battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period. The Panthers have earned a point in four of six games.
"It's a heck of an effort for these guys to come back. ... I mean to come back in the third, scoring and then still coming back, I think it was a really strong effort," Horachek said after the game.
Florida has also seen an increase in scoring, averaging 2.6 goals per game under Horacheck, and begins a five-game homestand after playing eight of nine on the road.
Who's hot: Although he was held off the score sheet Friday, Brad Boyes has three goals in his past six games for the Panthers. ...Matt Read has four goals in the past two games for the Flyers. It took Girioux 16 games before he notched his first goal of the season Nov. 19. After scoring Saturday, he now has two goals in his past three games.
Injury report: Defenseman Ed Jovanovski (hip) and forward Steven Pinizzotto (hip) are both on injured reserve for the Panthers. Defenseman Mike Weaver (flu-like symptoms) hasn't played since Nov. 15, and is questionable. Wings Jesse Winchester (lower body) and Tomas Kopecky (upper body) are both doubtful. ...The Flyers are without defensemen Chris Pronger and Marc-Andre Bourdon, both whom are on IR with post-concussion syndrome.
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