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Game 6, Preview and Open Thread: First Game In A Week, Philadelphia Flyers at Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers (1-4-0, 2 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (3-1-1, 7 pts)
BankAtlantic Center - 7:30 PM EST - Sunrise, FL
TV: CSN Philly HD, FSN Florida HD
Radio: 610 WIP (internet stream), XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Litter Box Cats

After Saturday's overtime loss to Anaheim, the Flyers had five days off until today. They took that time to go on their annual bonding trip, including a regatta race and a fishing competition. Tonight, we'll see if the trip had any immediate impact on the team as they stay in Florida to take on the Panthers.

So far, the Panthers have only one win on the year, and are currently riding a four game losing streak. Not much has gone right for the Panthers on their losing streak, as they have averaged only 1.80 goals per game while giving up 4. Their PK unit is under 70% effective while their PP unit is under 10% successful. Hopefully, the Flyers are able to take advantage of a team that has so far been unable to do much right.

The bright spot for the Panthers is that they have lost back-to-back 3-2 decisions, most recently at the hands of the Antero Niitymaki-led Tampa Bay Lightning. That game wasn't the easiest to swallow for Donny over at Litter Box Cats:

What's the deal? It's not like this was one of those 20-shot deficits the Panthers so routinely find themselves facing. In fact, Florida outshot the home club (33-32), and even opened the scoring with a shortie from Radek Dvorak in the first. Nathan Horton's PP marker in the second should have been enough for Tomas Vokoun to carry through the third. It wasn't.

>> Whale4ever

Needless to say, the Panthers aren't looking forward to facing the Flyers tonight.

Unfortunately, I confess to not knowing too much about the Panthers. I know to look out for Stephen Weiss, David Booth, and Nathan Horton though. Also, their defense isn't nearly as bad as it would appear. Last year, they tied for 9th fewest goals against per game, and while they lost Jay Bouwmeester, their top-four this year is not too shabby. Currently, Dennis Seidenberg is leading the team in TOI/G, and they got Jordan Leopold in the Bouwmeester trade.

Tonight, look for Scott Clemmensen to get his first start of the year for the Panthers. With two career games against the Flyers, Clemmensen is 2-0 with a 1.89 GAA and .933 S%. For the Flyers, no word yet, but it would appear that Ray Emery is getting the start in net again for the Flyers. Also, James van Riemsdyk should be playing for the first time since getting "his bell rung."

After the jump, a few questions to answer tonight...

Questions to Answer:

  1. Will James van Riemsdyk make much of an impact in his first game back?
  2. How will the team react to the long layoff and vacation-like activities of the past week?
  3. Can the defense take positives out of the Anaheim game, but still avoid the breakdowns that led to the Anaheim comeback (poor line changes, losing open men, etc.)?
  4. Since Pronger, Laperriere, and Emery were added in part for their hatred of losing, how does the team respond to back-to-back losses, especially against an inferior team?

This will be the game thread, so hopefully Philly can win twice today. Go Phillies! Go Flyers!