NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 8th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (40-29-9) at Florida Panthers (28-43-8), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers attempt to put an ill-timed
slump behind them on Tuesday night as they shoot for a second straight victory
-- and a playoff spot -- in a matchup with the Florida Panthers.
The Flyers will play their next three on the road before ending the regular
season at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. They head to Florida
having topped the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Sunday.
Philadelphia had lost four straight and was 1-4-2 in its previous seven games
before besting Buffalo. The win moved the Flyers back in front of the Columbus
Blue Jackets by two points for third place in the Metropolitan Division and
also has them a pair of points behind the second-place New York Rangers.
Both the Flyers and Blue Jackets have four games left in the regular season,
while the Rangers have three. All three clubs are in action tonight; New York
hosts Carolina, while Columbus welcomes the Phoenix Coyotes to town.
Philadelphia can officially clinch at least a wild card berth with a victory
as they are five points ahead of the ninth-place New Jersey Devils and Toronto
Maple Leafs, who both have just three games remaining.
Brayden Schenn had a pair of goals in Sunday's win, while Steve Mason made 17
saves. Matt Read and Vincent Lecavalier registered a goal and an assist each,
and Mark Streit had three helpers.
"I thought we played a solid team game tonight, defense-first mentality and
didn't give them a whole lot and the two points were key," Schenn said.
Zac Rinaldo also scored in Sunday's win, but received a match penalty for an
illegal check 4:29 into the third period. He delivered an elbow to the head
of Buffalo defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, who suffered a concussion from the hit.
"I shouldn't have done it. There was no need for it," Rinaldo said of the hit
following Sunday's win. "We were up 4-0. There was no need for that hit but it
is what it is. It's a part of the game."
The NHL agreed with Rinaldo and suspended the winger four games for the check,
sidelining him for the rest of the regular season.
The Panthers will try to deal a blow to another playoff hopeful tonight after
handing the Dallas Stars a tough 3-2 setback on Sunday. Sean Bergenheim helped
Florida snap a five-game slide as he scored to snap a 2-2 tie with 4:31 left
Bergenheim converted a well-placed tip-in of Colby Robak's attempt to send
Florida in front.
"I just tried to put my stick down on the ice and he (Robak) found it. It was
a really nice play by him," Bergenheim said.
The Panthers potted three unanswered goals after Dallas' Jamie Benn and Tyler
Seguin each scored in the game's first 21 minutes to deal the Stars a
potentially damaging defeat, with Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri also
lighting the lamp for a Florida team that had lost eight of nine coming in.
Roberto Luongo did his part as well for Florida, turning aside 35 shots.
The Panthers have now split the first two of their season-ending five-game
The Panthers have won four of their last six versus the Flyers and they
snapped a five-game series home losing streak with a 3-1 victory over
Philadelphia on Nov. 25.
Mason is 5-1-0 with a 1.48 goals against average and one shutout in his career
versus the Panthers, while Luongo has gone 5-7-2 with a 3.21 GAA and one
shutout lifetime when facing the Flyers.
04/08 10:47:23 ET