SUNRISE FL - FEBRUARY 16: James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Mike Weaver #43 of the Florida Panthers fight for control of the puck on February 16 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise Florida. The Flyers defeated the Panthers 4-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Florida: 8-4-3 (19PTS)
Philadelphia: 8-4-3 (19PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-0
Game Time: 5:00 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Radio: 560 WQAM
Thursday night the Panthers were in third place in the Eastern Conference and at the top of the Southeast Division. Although they haven't played a game since, following wins from the Capitals, Sabres and Rangers, they have dropped to seventh in the conference. A win would would put them in a tie for the division lead and for fourth place in the conference. The Flyers, at sixth, have the same record as the Cats. A win would put them in a tie for second in their division and fourth in the conference. It's early in the season and the standings are tight, but the Panthers are holding in. Their season pace and their last ten games pace are still enough to put them in a playoff spot by season's end. This game will mark the first time the Flyers will appear in Sunrise without former captain Mike Richards, who is well loved in Sunrise for his hit on David Booth a few seasons ago. The Panthers, for their part, have traded David Booth to the Western Conference as well. Without Richards on the ice, the Panthers can fall back on another NHL tradition, booing current Flyers captain Chris Pronger. This game will be Pronger's second since returning from an eye injury a couple of weeks ago.
News and Notes
The Panthers capped off a dismal season series against the Flyers with a 3-2 loss at home. Brian Boucher had the win and Jeff Carter had two goals for the Flyers. Carter, Boucher and Panthers starting goalie Tomas Vokoun all find themselves with new teams this season, while the remaining goal scorers, Scott Hartnell, Stephen Weiss and Dmitry Kulikov will play in today's game.
The Panthers traveled to Winnipeg to avenge their Halloween loss at home. Kris Versteeg had his first NHL hat trick and Jose Theodore made 27 saves en route to a 5-2 win. Versteeg iced the Panthers' win and finished the hat trick with some hard work on this empty net goal.
Scottie Upshall was injured in Thursday's game against the Jets. Evgeny Dadonov was called up to take his place. Dadonov has 3 goals, 1 assist and is a -1 in 9 games for San Antonio this season. While rumors swirl around why Erik Gudbranson is sitting in the press box, Keaton Ellerby has an assist and is +1 in 6 games while Gudbranson has no points and is -6 in 11 games. Expect to see Ellerby in the game again today.
- Mikael Samuelsson (rehab from abdominal surgery), 10/24, week to week
- Scottie Upshall (upper body injury), 11/10, day to day
- D Keaton Ellerby OR
- D Erik Gudbranson
With two to three days off between games for both teams, expect to see the starters, Jose Theodore and Ilya Bryzgalov, today. The Flyers play in Carolina tomorrow, so Bobrovsky may play in one of the two games.