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Philadelphia Flyers at Florida Panthers - Game 48 Preview

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Florida: 22-15-10 (54PTS)
Philadelphia: 28-14-5 (61PTS)
Season Series: 0-1-0
Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia
Radio: 640 WFTL

The Flyers visit Sunrise in the final game before the All-Star Break. The Panthers will be without the services of Dmitry Kulikov, injured in Saturday's game against Winnipeg, while the Flyers will be without Danny Briere, who received a concussion in Sunday's game against the Bruins. That was a rough game, with former Panther Nathan Horton receiving a concussion as well. The Flyers' Scott Hartnell was just added to the All-Star Game as a replacement for Jonathan Toews. Alex Ovechkin will also be missing the game, leaving another spot open, probably for Pittsburgh's James Neal, but there's an outside chance Kris Versteeg could be next on the list.

Even with the injuries and mid-season fatigue, the game will likely be hotly contested. Both teams need the points. The Flyers, though fourth in the Eastern Conference, are in second place in a tight Atlantic Division, three points back from the Rangers and three ahead of the Penguins. The Panthers are in third in the conference, but only by virtue of leading a weak Southeast Division. They're actually tied for sixth in points with the New Jersey Devils. The Southeast is also tight, with the Cats holding a one point lead over the Capitals and four points on the Jets.

More from our Philadelphia cohorts at Broad Street Hockey.
Flyers vs Panthers coverage at SB Nation.
SB Nation Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

Matt Read had the game winner as the Flyers downed the Cats 3-2 in Sunrise in November.

Last game

The Panthers tied the game twice and held on to beat the Jets 4-3 in a seven round shootout. The game was the second of back-to-back road games for the Cats.

Lineup

Dmitry Kulikov had knee surgery for an injury in Saturday's game against the Jets and will be out from six to eight weeks. Tyson Strachan was called up from San Antonio to take his place. Strachan played 67 NHL games with the St. Louis Blues between 2008 and 2011. Two of those Blues teams included Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver. Marco Sturm is now skating with the team and is expected back soon. Jack Skille is still having some issues with his shoulder and coach Kevin Dineen says he will not play until he's again able to play "at 100%."

Injuries

  • F Marco Sturm (concussion), unknown
  • G Jacob Markstrom (knee), 1/7, four to six weeks
  • D Ed Jovanovski (hand), 1/16, week to week
  • D Dmitry Kulikov (knee), 1/21, six to eight weeks

Probable Scratches

  • F Jack Skille (shoulder)
  • F Sean Bergenheim

Starting goaltenders:

Scott Clemmensen (3-1 lifetime vs PHI) will reportedly get the start for Florida. Both Sergei Bobrovsky (2-1) and Ilya Bryzgalov (3-0-1) have had success against the Panthers, but Bob has established himself in recent days as the Flyers' go-to netminder.

Projected Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Samuelsson-Goc-Kopecky
  3. Upshall-Matthias-Bradley/Santorelli
  4. Barch-Madden-Santorelli/Bradley
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Weaver-Strachan
  3. Gudbranson-Ellerby