The Panthers prepared to meet the red-hot Flyers this evening at BankAtlantic Center without three of its starters.
GM and coach Jacques Martin said Wednesday morning that Rostislav Olesz will undergone surgery Thursday morning to repair a fractured bone in his right hand. Martin said he’ll know how long Olesz’s recovery time will be after the surgery.
Joining Olesz on the shelf for tonight’s game is defenseman Mike Van Ryn (knee sprain) and forward David Booth (neck). Van Ryn said he hoped to play Friday when the Panthers play host to the Sabres. Martin was encouraged that Booth practiced with the team Wednesday morning and listed him as day-to-day.
“Every day it’s tons better,” said Booth, who was playing alongside Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss. “Right now I’m working on my range of motion and that will help my recovery time.”
Steve Montador, who dressed but did not play Saturday in Ottawa, will take Van Ryn’s place on the blue line while Martin dresses recent recalls Kamil Kreps and Stefan Meyer at the forward positions.
The Flyers, atop the Atlantic Division with a 6-1, come into the BankAtlantic Center on a roll. They’ve outscored their opponents 11-2 in the last three games and 22-5 in the last five games. Goalie Martin Biron was named Player of the Week after pitching two shutouts last week and an 0.66 goals against average.
In seven games, the Flyers have allowed only 12 goals to be ranked first in the Eastern Conference and second in the NHL.
“They’ve played extremely well and their goals against is one of the tops in the league,” Martin said. “They’ve really been stingy on defense.”
The Flyers top line, Daniel Briere between Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble, has put up 10 goals and 24 points in seven games.