Panthers-Flyers Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers continue to surge, having won seven of

eight games overall and five in a row at home.

They’ll look to extend their home streak when they face the

Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

The Panthers are 11-4-1 against the Flyers since the 2006-07

season, but will likely have their hands full with one of the

hottest offenses in the NHL.

Philadelphia (10-4-2) has outscored its opponents 34-14 and is

converting on 32.4 percent of its power-play opportunities in its

last eight games. While coach Peter Laviolette is pleased with his

team’s performance, he knows there is always room for

improvement.

“You talk about where you need to get to. I still think that we

need to be tighter defensively,” he told the team’s official

website.” I think that we can be faster offensively. I think that

we can eliminate some of the mistakes that we’re making.”

The Flyers didn’t make many mistakes in Thursday night’s 8-1

rout at Carolina, putting up their highest scoring output of the

season.

Jeff Carter found the back of net in the first period to give

the Flyers a 2-0 lead, then added two more goals for his second

career hat trick. Carter, tied for the team lead with eight goals

on the season, has 10 points in his last eight games versus

Florida.

Mike Richards added a goal, and has 11 points in the Flyers’

last 10 games.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves against the Hurricanes as he

improved to 9-2-1 with a 2.09 goals against average.

“We were fresh, gained some strength, played some golf and with

new strength and new emotions, we came out skating well,” Bobrovsky

said through an interpreter.

The undrafted rookie netminder hasn’t lost in regulation since

Oct. 21, going 7-0-1 with a 1.75 GAA and .944 save percentage in

his last eight starts.

Coming off a 2-1 win over Minnesota on Friday night, Florida

(7-7-0) has a chance to win three in a row for the first time this

season.

Christopher Higgins and Mike Santorelli provided the offense and

Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves against the Wild.

“It was a big start. We came out moving our feet and got two

goals and the game tightened up after that,” Santorelli said. “It

was a hard-fought battle.”

Vokoun is 2-4-0 with a 3.79 goals-against average in

Philadelphia, while teammate Scott Clemmensen is 3-0-0 with a 1.92

goals-against average versus the Flyers over his career.

David Booth, who leads the Panthers with five goals, has five

points in his last two games versus the Flyers, including a

four-point performance the last time these teams met March 3 – a

7-4 Panthers win. Florida is 4-1-0 against Philadelphia when Booth

finds the back of the net.

The Panthers may need to get on the board early Saturday night,

as the Flyers are 6-0-0 when leading after the first period.