Philadelphia Flyers (34-20-11: 79pts) at Florida Panthers (31-25-6: 68pts)
at BB&T Center | Sunrise, FL
TIME: 3:00 p.m. | TV: NBCSP | RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
presented by The Rothman Institute at Jefferson Hospital
Season Series: 1-1-0
All-Time Record: 94gp (52-30-12)
PHI: 75-pts, Giroux (22g-53a)
FLA: 61-pts, Barkov (23g-38a)
1. DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME
Both teams come into today's game in a close battle in the standings for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference... The Flyers sit in second place in the Metro at 79 points, two behind the Capitals and one point up on the Penguins - both of which do not play today... The Panthers are on the outside looking in and fighting to get back in the playoff picture sitting just one point out of the final wild card position with three games in-hand on both the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes - both Columbus (at SJS) and Carolina (vs. WPG) play today.
2. TOO HOT TO HANDLE
Flyers and Panthers come in as two of the hottest teams in the NHL... The Flyers earned a point in Saturday's loss to the Lightning, giving them points in 13 of their last 14 games (10-1-3) and have the third-best winning percentage (.722) since Jan. 1 (Boston & Nashville: .769)… They have also earned points in eight straight road games (7-0-1)... The Panthers are the hottest team in the NHL right now... They are winners of five straight games as they look to close out their six-game homestand with a perfect record... During the homestand, the Panthers have had four of their five games decided by one goal... Since the NHL All-Star break, the Panthers have the best winning percentage in the NHL at .800 and are tied for the most wins at 12 (with Nashville) owning a 12-3-0 record.
3. SUNSHINE SPLIT
Third and final meeting of the year with each team grabbing a win on home ice, including the Panthers taking the last meeting, 3-2 on Dec. 28, which snapped a four-game Flyers win streak... Florida is the only Eastern Conference team against which the Flyers have a better all-time record on the road (29-15-2) than they do at home (23-15-6-4)... Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere lead the Flyers in the season series with three points (1g-2a), while Nick Bjugstad leads the Panthers with three assists in two games this year.
4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
THIS: This is the third game in a four-day span for both teams today... The Flyers are unbeaten in regulation in the 'third' game of a 3-in-4 stretch, going 7-0-5, while the Panthers own a 2-3-2 mark in the third game of a 3-in-4 stretch... THAT: The Panthers have 22 of their 31 wins when scoring the first goal of the game, and own a perfect 19-0-0 record when leading after the second period... THE OTHER: Since Feb. 1, the Flyers lead the NHL in fewest times shorthanded (27) and have allowed their opponent one or fewer power-plays in seven of their last 10 games, going 10-for-12 on the PK in that span.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH:
FLYERS (C: #14 - Sean Couturier)
Couturier has points in two straight (2a) and six of his last eight games (1g-5a)... He continues to lead the team in goals (29) and although he is going through a seven-game goal-scoring drought, he has also posted two goals in the season series against the Panthers and has four goals and seven points in his last 11 against Florida.
PANTHERS (C: #16 - Aleksander Barkov)
Barkov has been one of the hottest players in the NHL over the last month... He comes into tonight's game with a five-game point streak in which he has goals in three straight and a total of eight points (4g-4a) in those five games... Since Feb. 1 he has recorded points in 12 of 14 and posted nine goals and 19 points in that stretch.