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Flyers hoping to rebound against surging Panthers after crushing loss on Saturday

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers were oh so close to scoring consecutive victories for the first time since mid-January on Saturday, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and coughed up a 5-4 overtime decision to the Carolina Hurricanes after allowing the tying goal with just 0.3 seconds remaining.

Tonight, they’ll have a chance at redemption but it won’t come easy as they host the red-hot Florida Panthers. The Panthers are riding a 7-game point streak that features 6 wins – with the last 3 coming consecutively – and they have found themselves back in the playoffs for the time being.

Florida maintains the final Wild Card berth in the Eastern Conference at 79 points, one point ahead of the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins. After it seemed that the Panthers would miss out on a chance at the Stanley Cup one year after winning the Presidents’ Trophy, they’ve clawed back into the hunt and have not lost in regulation since March 1st on their way back to a postseason spot.

As for Philadelphia, well, you know how this story goes. Losers of 5 of their last 6, the Flyers are 2-4-2 in the month of March and are just 4-10-3 since February.

The highlight of the season, depending on who you ask, is probably the departure of Chuck Fletcher as general manager and president of hockey operations. Sure, Nick Seeler’s goal against Vegas was pretty slick too, but the majority of the fanbase is pretty united in the happiness of Fletcher being gone.

The Flyers have not started off great in the Daniel Brière era so far, going 1-2-1 since his hiring, but their play has been noticeably better and certain players are beginning to heat up and show their mettle.

Owen Tippett racked up his first career NHL hat-trick in Friday’s 5-2 pounding of Buffalo and eclipsed the 20-goal mark for the first time in the NHL. Brendan Lemieux has shown his physicality and his offensive abilities since being traded from Los Angeles, recording 4 points (2g, 2a) in his last 4 games, and Noah Cates has blossomed into a very dependable two-way threat and had a two-point showing (1g, 1a) against Carolina on Saturday.

The Flyers may be getting 2020 Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier back soon as well. Couturier has been skating and practicing with the team for some time now, and #14 could possibly take the ice in the final games of the season in April.

With just 13 games remaining, the Flyers don’t have much to play for at this point. Individually, the players will go out there for pride and compete as hard as they can. Some are seeking new contracts, others are fighting to stay in Philadelphia, and a few know that their time here is winding down quickly.

While tanking is the goal for pretty much any fan who’s still watching this team, a win here or there is fun to celebrate and watch, and honestly, the Flyers probably aren’t finishing bad enough to have a real chance at Connor Bedard at this rate anyway.

Playing spoiler to a playoff-hopeful Florida team, though? Perhaps led by the hottest Flyer at the moment and former Panther in Owen Tippett? That would be a fun memory for this season.

PHI Record: 25-32-12, 62 pts, 7th in Metropolitan

FLA Record: 36-27-7, 4th in Atlantic

Last Game PHI: 3/18/22, 5-4 OTL vs. Carolina

Last Game FLA: 3/20/22, 5-2 W at Detroit

When: 7:00pm ET

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

PHI Goalie: Carter Hart (18-21-10, .907 SV%, 2.94 GAA, 1 SO)

FLA Goalie: Alex Lyon (3-2-1, .892 SV%, 3.89 GAA, 0 SO)

PHI Projected Lineup

#86 Joel Farabee – #49 Noah Cates – #74 Owen Tippett

#13 Kevin Hayes – #21 Scott Laughton – #57 Wade Allison

#22 Brendan Lemieux – #48 Morgan Frost – #52 Tyson Foerster

#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #25 James van Riemsdyk

#9 Ivan Provorov – #45 Cam York

#6 Travis Sanheim – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen

#24 Nick Seeler – #77 Tony DeAngelo

#54 Egor Zamula

#79 Carter Hart

#32 Felix Sandström

FLA Projected Lineup

#27 Eetu Luostarinen – #16 Aleksander Barkov – #13 Sam Reinhart

#23 Carter Verhaeghe – #15 Anton Lundell – #19 Matthew Tkachuk

#94 Ryan Lomberg – #12 Eric Staal – #10 Anthony Duclair

#54 Givani Smith – #21 Nick Cousins – #6 Colin White

#42 Gustav Forsling – #5 Aaron Ekblad

#18 Marc Staal – #62 Brandon Montour

#28 Josh Mahura – #7 Radko Gudas

#34 Alex Lyon

#72 Sergei Bobrovsky

PHI Injuries: Sean Couturier (back), Travis Konecny (upper-body), Ryan Ellis (hip), Cam Atkinson (neck)

Scratched: Kieffer Bellows, Justin Braun, Tanner Laczynski

FLA Injuries: Patric Hörnqvist (concussion), Sam Bennett

Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald

News and Notes

– Egor Zamula was recalled from AHL Lehigh Valley yesterday and will skate as one of the 7 defenseman that head coach John Tortorella will dress tonight.

– The Flyers are 1-1-0 against Florida this season and whoever wins tonight will take home the season series victory.

– After former Flyer Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves in a 5-2 win over Detroit last night, also-former Flyer Alex Lyon will get the start in net tonight for the Panthers. Lyon has not faced the Flyers yet in his NHL career until now between stops in Carolina and Florida since leaving Philadelphia.

– There are plenty of familiar faces on each side of the ice tonight. Alongside Bobrovsky and Lyon, the Panthers will dress former Flyers Nick Cousins and Radko Gudas, while the Flyers have Owen Tippett, the prize of the Claude Giroux trade last year.

– Tippett missed yesterday’s practice in what was called a maintenance day but he will be ready to play tonight.

Broadcast Info: TV – NBC Sports Philadelphia, Radio – 97.5 The Fanatic

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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