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game preview

Flyers at Panthers preview

Hart looking for first road win since November for Philadelphia; Panthers 2-4-1 in past seven games

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

FLYERS (31-19-7) at PANTHERS (30-20-6)



The Game

Goalie Carter Hart will look for his first road victory in more than three months when the Philadelphia Flyers play the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Hart has lost his past seven road starts since a 3-2 shootout victory against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 10. He allowed four goals on 18 shots in a 5-2 loss at BB&T Center on Nov. 19.

Hart made 30 saves in the Flyers' 4-1 win against the Panthers at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

The Flyers, who are 8-3-1 in their past 12 games, are two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and three points ahead of the Panthers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Florida, which is 2-4-1 in its past seven games, is two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division.


Players to watch

Flyers forward Claude Giroux has six points (two goals, four assists) during a three-game point streak.

Panthers forward Mike Hoffman has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in the past 17 games.


They said it

"It's going to be another hard game. This is a team that's got great speed and skill, top-end forwards that create things out of nothing. We're going to have to be at our best." -- Flyers coach Alain Vigneault

"We owe it to ourselves. They got the best of us in their building. It's our time and our job to do it in our building." -- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad


Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Joel Farabee -- Kevin Hayes -- Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk -- Scott Laughton -- Tyler Pitlick

Michael Raffl -- Connor Bunnaman -- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov -- Matt Niskanen

Travis Sanheim -- Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg -- Justin Braun

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Morgan Frost

Injured: Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder), Shayne Gostisbehere (knee)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Dominic Toninato -- Colton Sceviour

Mike Matheson -- Noel Acciari -- Mark Pysyk

MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad

Riley Stillman -- Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: Denis Malgin, Jayce Hawryluk

Injured: Brian Boyle (upper body), Chris Driedger (lower body)


Status report

Gostisbehere took part in the morning skate but the defenseman will miss a fourth consecutive game. … Matheson and Pysyk will play forward instead of their normal roles as defensemen for a second consecutive game. … Boyle will miss a fifth consecutive game and Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said the center would be out for "a while." … Driedger skated on his own Thursday and Quenneville said the goalie was ahead of schedule in his recovery from a lower-body injury he sustained against the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 16.


Stat pack

Six of Sanheim's 17 goals the past two seasons have come against Bobrovsky, including one in each of the two games this season. … Florida is 0-for-10 on the power play in its past three games. … Dadonov has gone seven games without a goal after scoring in four consecutive games.

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