The Flyers and Panthers face each other for the final time this season - other than the lockout shortened season in 2012-13, this is the earliest in a season the two teams will have completed their season series in the 21-year history of the Panthers franchise… The two teams split the first two meetings, which happened in a span of six days (Nov. 1-6), with each team winning on home ice… All five of the Flyers goals against the Panthers this season have come at even-strength or at 6-on-5 when the goaltender has been pulled, and all five of their goals have come from five different Flyers… The Panthers have scored just three goals in the first two games of the season series, two of which have come on the power play and two have been by defensemen.
The Panthers are coming off an NHL record 20-round shootout in their last game, a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in which forward Nick Bjugstad scored the winning goal… The Panthers scored six times and had to score five times just to extend the shootout, which lasted 17 minutes, 43 seconds… The last three Panthers games have been decided past regulation play, as well as four of their last six, and 12 of 29 overall games this season… Florida has also had 21 of their 29 games decided by one goal this season - tied for the most of any team (Ottawa)… The Flyers have played in a combined seven overtime (3)/shootout (4) games this season, but have only played in three games past regulation in their last 21 contests… The Flyers are 2-1 in overtime and 0-4 in shootouts, while the Panthers own a 1-4 record in overtime and 3-4 mark in shootouts.
The Flyers continue their power-play dominance on home ice, ranking first overall in the NHL at 29.6% and have scored 33.3% of their goals on the power-play at home (16 of 48)… The Flyers have also scored on the man advantage in eight straight games, going 8-for-23 at 34.8%… The Panthers have nine of their 13 wins when scoring the first goal, going 9-1-4, while the Flyers have eight of their 11 wins when scoring first (8-2-2)… The Panthers have scored the fourth-least amount of goals per-game, ranking 27th in the NHL at 2.17, but are in the Top 10 in the NHL, ranking 9th, in goals-against per-game at 2.45… Nick Bjugstad leads the Panthers in goals (12) and points (19)… Jakub Voracek continues to lead the Flyers, and is tied for second overall in the NHL, with 37 points (11g-26a).
Giroux leads all players in the NHL in assists (27) and currently is tied for fifth overall in the scoring race with 35 points… He is also in the midst of a six-game point streak in which he has seven assists and eight points… Giroux continues to lead all NHL forwards in time-on-ice at 21:32 per-game and is tied for third in the NHL in shots on goal (119)… The Flyers have not won a game, going 0-6-1, in the seven games when Giroux goes without a point - they are 11-8-4 when he finds the scoresheet… Against the Panthers, Giroux has one assist in two games this year and 15 points (6g-9a) in 24 career games.
The first overall pick in last year’s draft is making a nice transition to the NHL… He has appeared in all 29 games for the Panthers this season and ranks second on the team in scoring with 18 points… He leads all NHL rookie defensemen in goals (5), assists (13) and points (18) and ranks second among all rookies in average time-on-ice (22:01)… He has played six consecutive games with over 21 minutes of TOI, including three of those games over 24 minutes, and has posted over 25 minutes of ice-time five times this season… Ekblad scored his first NHL goal against the Flyers, it was the game-winner on Nov. 1 at Florida.