It's the final meeting of the year (already) between the Flyers and Panthers.
Less than 24 hours after by far the most-fun win of the year, the Flyers are back home to kick off a five-game homestand against the Florida Panthers. It's easy to assume there will be a let down tonight against a boring Southeast team that, compared to the Penguins, we couldn't possibly care less about. But let's hope not.
Florida Panthers (4-7-4, 12) at Philadelphia Flyers (8-9-1, 17 pts)
7:00 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
TV: CSN Philly, FS Florida | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Florida perspective at Litter Box Cats
Matt Read will likely be out of the lineup tonight. He suffered an upper-body injury in last night's game and missed most of the second-half of the action. We're thinking it's a shoulder but there's been no clarification from Paul Holmgren on his status other than what we already know.
Luckily, we have Tye McGinn sitting there on the shelf itching to get back in the lineup. Can't really explain why McGinn was pulled out in the first place, especially when you have redundancy in "energy guys" Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk. McGinn's done nothing but excel during his time in Philadelphia this year and he's been a better player than Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Knuble and probably a few other guys. But that's a rant for another time.
McGinn's in if Read is out, which appears like it will be the case. McGinn could probably slide into Read's spot on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, but this is Peter Laviolette we're talking about here. Chances he shuffles all the lines are high. Maybe Brayden Schenn gets a shot up there on the top line?
The defense will likely be the same, although I suppose Peter Laviolette could swap out Bruno Gervais for Kurtis Foster. I liked Gervais game last night in Pittsburgh (and that's not simply because he stopped Crosby that one time) and would be fine if things stayed the same.
According to reports from Voorhees this morning, it looks like Ilya Bryzgalov will play this second-half of the back-to-back, as Brian Boucher worked out this morning during an optional skate. The Flyers started Boucher on Saturday in Montreal and it was ugly, so Lavi probably wants to stick with his top gun in goal. (Since I just typed this paragraph, though, we'll see Boosh in net.)
Last game against the Panthers for the season, thank God. Boring as all hell.
Questions to Answer
1. How does Lavi configure the lines with Read likely out?
2. Does tonight turn into a trap game?
3. Can Jakub Voracek stay red-hot?
4. Jonathan Huberdeau leads Florida in scoring and has been streaking lately. Can the Flyers stop him?
7 p.m. puck drop on CSN. Go Flyers.