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Preview: Flyers host Panthers for little revenge game

The last matchup was what started their recent downfall.

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Philadelphia Flyers V Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The Florida Panthers are coming to town to face our Philadelphia Flyers in what will be the first rematch of the 2022-23 regular season.

Flyers vs. Panthers

When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Arena
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

The last time they played each other — it was not that long ago; you should probably be able to remember — resulted in a 4-3 loss for the Flyers and what happened to be their first defeat of the season. Philadelphia stormed back from a two-goal deficit to tie it up, the Panthers scored two more goals, and Travis Konecny added a little cherry on top of the loss as he scored a goal in the final seconds of the game to make it look closer than it was.

It was an exciting bout as the Flyers searched for a four-game winning streak to start their season with. But fortunately, that bubble has been burst and since then Philadelphia has had to come to the realization that they might not be all that good after suffering a shutout 3-0 defeat to the San Jose Sharks most recently. Not the most awe-inspiring performance — losing to a tanking team — but just a little tug back to Earth is good once in a while.

It’s not going to last forever, but we might as well blind ourselves with hope that this is a good team that will outperform every metric or percentage all season long. Oh, for sure.

But the good luck might stretch a little further as we are seeing the return of two key figures in the Flyers lineup for tonight’s game.

Projected Flyers lineup:

Joel Farabee — Kevin Hayes — Travis Konecny
Noah Cates — Scott Laughton — Owen Tippett
Lukas Sedlak — Morgan Frost — Wade Allison
Nic Deslauriers — Tanner Laczynski — Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov — Tony DeAngelo
Travis Sanheim — Rasmus Ristolainen
Egor Zamula — Justin Braun

Carter Hart will most likely be getting the start and he has certainly earned it.

That’s right. Owen Tippett and Rasmus Ristolainen are back to just make this lineup look a little more plump and full of Philadelphia regulars. Tippett has not played since suffering an injury in the first game of the season after playing just four minutes and 20 seconds and Ristolainen is making his season debut after recovering from a little pre-season injury.

Tippett will surely bring an additional offensive dynamic to the team, especially considering how other players like Kevin Hayes and Konecny have returned to form as of late. Now, they get more offensive depth, as he pushes other players like Morgan Frost and Wade Allison down the lineup to ensure that someone can score on all three of the top forward lines.

While maybe not the most exciting player to have return to your lineup, Ristolainen at least gets to play more and we don’t have to see Nick Seeler anymore. I’m sure he will try to make tonight a statement game and lay out bodies all around the ice.

Projected Panthers lineup:

Carter Verhaeghe — Aleksander Barkov — Sam Reinhart
Rudolfs Balcers — Sam Bennett — Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen — Anton Lundell — Colin White
Ryan Lomberg — Nick Cousins — Patric Hornqvist

Gustav Forsling — Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura — Radko Gudas
Matt Kiersted — Marc Staal

Sergei Bobrovsky is your projected starter.

The Panthers are going to continue to walk this tightrope of having a very good core of forwards, some hot prospects increasing their roles, and a blue line that the Chicago Blackhawks can scoff at. While we are not trying to act like we even approach to the level of Hockey Intelligence of those that put these teams together, having Brandon Montour and waiver-pickup Josh Mahura balance out your top-four isn’t something that would make me comfortable if I was a fan of this team. Not to mention that you have an elderly Marc Staal on the blue line as well.

On-paper disaster be damned, the Panthers have started this season 4-2-1, but have largely beat up on opponents that will finish below them in the standings. Should we be impressed that this team can beat the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, and our Flyers? That is how they earned their points. And on the other hand, they just lost to the Blackhawks. C’mon now. You cannot be doing that if you want to call yourself a Stanley Cup contender.

This Panther might be more of a paper tiger so far this season. It would only get worse if they lose tonight to the Flyers. So let’s make that happen and call them frauds from every section of The Farg.

Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.