Here we go again.
First it was Michael Raffl. Then Shayne Gostisbhere. Now, it’s Michael Del Zotto who will sit as a healthy scratch when the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Florida Panthers this evening in South Florida.
Coach Dave Hakstol is likely hoping to light a spark under Del Zotto here, as MDZ has been pretty brutal of late. This doesn’t rise to the level of outrage we experienced with the Ghost scratch last week. That said, the same threads are here: even with the way he’s playing of late, MDZ is a significantly better player than Andrew MacDonald, so it’s frustrating that the Flyers are willfully putting a less-than-ideal lineup on the ice against the Panthers.
The Panthers come into the evening two points ahead of the Flyers in the standings, sitting at 10-8-1 through 20 games. They’re led offensively so far this season by Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Marchessault and Aleksander Barkov -- their only three forwards with more than 10 points thus far. Jaromir Jagr is still a Panther, by the way.
Roberto Luongo will be in net for Florida -- he has a .923 save percentage on the year thus far.
Steve Mason will again get the start for the Flyers, who are also expected to shake up their forward lines. Brayden Schenn -- in an attempt to wake him up from his early-season slumber, will hit the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.
Full lineup changes are below. Tonight’s game can be seen locally on CSN Philly and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic. CSNPhilly.com will live stream the game anywhere in the world for those who subscribe to the TV network through their cable/satellite provider. Fox Sports Florida has the broadcast in the Sunshine State, and NHL.tv or NHL Center Ice has you covered everywhere else.
- Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
- Travis Konecny - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds
- Michael Raffl - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Meat Read
- Chris VandeVelde - Nick Cousins - Dale Weise
- Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere
- Ivan Provorov - Mark Streit
- Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas
- Steve Mason
- Anthony Stolarz
Scratches: Roman Lyubimov, Nick Schultz, Michael Del Zotto
Injured: Boyd Gordon, Michal Neuvirth
- Jussi Jokinen - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr
- Jonathan Marchessault - Vincent Trocheck - Reilly Smith
- Nick Bjugstad - Denis Malgin - Colton Sceviour
- Greg McKegg - Derek MacKenzie - Kyle Rau
- Keith Yandle - Jason Demers
- Jakub Kindl - Aaron Ekblad
- Mark Pysyk - Michael Matheson
- Roberto Luongo
- James Reimer