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GAME: Florida Panthers (6-4-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (4-2-1).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT.

Due to Hurricane Wilma affecting the Miami area, the Florida Panthers are faced with the second of six consecutive road games when they meet the Philadelphia Flyers in a matchup originally scheduled to be the back end of a two-game trip through Pennsylvania.

The threat of the hurricane prompted the NHL to postpone Florida's game last Saturday against the Ottawa Senators. After Wilma hit South Florida on Monday, the Panthers' scheduled matchup this Saturday with the Washington Capitals also was pushed back.

That means Florida won't play at home again until Nov. 9, when it faces the New York Rangers. However, the Panthers will travel back to their home state following Thursday's contest.

To open its unexpected stretch of six straight games on the road, Florida beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday.

Martin Gelinas, who scored once in the victory, admitted it was difficult to concentrate on the game.

"I think for a lot of the game, we tried not to think about what's going on back home - and that's tough to do," Gelinas said. "So this is a big two points."

Roberto Luongo made 38 saves, and Stephen Weiss scored his first goal of the season 53 seconds into the extra period to secure the victory.

The Panthers are 14-27-7-1 all-time against the Flyers in the regular season. They have not won a season series against Philadelphia since 1998-99, when Florida went 2-1-1.

The Flyers lost 3-2 in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Mike Richards and Brian Savage scored in the second period for Philadelphia, which blew a 2-1 lead after two periods and was outshot 29-22 on the night.

In the third period, the Flyers garnered just five shots on net and were whistled for five penalties, fending off two power-play chances before Joni Pitkanen's interference penalty led to Mike Ribeiro's game-tying goal at 9:19. Ribeiro won it 2:28 into overtime.

"It was tough in the third," Savage said. "Obviously, we had a lot of penalties and a lot of penalty killing and we didn't get into the offensive flow of it, 5-on-5."

Still searching for his first goal is Peter Forsberg, who signed a two-year contract with Philadelphia in the offseason.

Dating back to the 2003-04 postseason, Forsberg hasn't scored a goal in 12 games - his last one coming on April 22, 2004, against the San Jose Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov. His regular-season goal-scoring drought stands at nine games.

Forsberg, however, has notched 12 assists, tying him with Bryan McCabe of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the most in the NHL.

STANDINGS: Panthers - 12 points, 2nd place (tied), 1 PB, Southeast Division. Flyers - 9 points, 3rd place, 2 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Panthers - Nathan Horton, 5 goals; Olli Jokinen and Mike Van Ryn, 6 assists; Jokinen, 8 points; Branislav Mezei, 29 PIM. Flyers - Simon Gagne, 7 goals; Forsberg, 12 assists and 12 points; Donald Brashear, 20 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Panthers - Power play: 12.5 percent (8 for 64), 26th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (54 for 66), 19th. Flyers - Power play: 14.5 percent (8 for 55), 22nd. Penalty killing: 79.1 percent (38 for 48), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Panthers - Luongo (6-4-0, 2 SO, 2.32 GAA); Jamie McLennan (0-0-0, 0, 1.13). Flyers - Robert Esche (2-2-1, 0, 3.00); Antero Niittymaki (2-0-0, 0, 3.41).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 2-0-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 28, 2004; Tie, 3-3. At Sunrise, Fla., Pitkanen gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead 10:06 into the third period with his second goal of the game before the Panthers' Kristian Huselius tied the score 59 seconds later.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Panthers - 2-3-0 on the road; Flyers - 3-1-0 at home.

Associated Press
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