Saturday night, the Philadelphia Flyers went to the nation’s capital and absolutely decimated the Washington Capitals. Led by Sean Couturier’s two goals, the Flyers flew past their division rival, 7-2.
Now, the Flyers will be at Wells Fargo Center for the last time until next Tuesday, as they host another division rival. Philadelphia (30-18-7) hosts the Florida Panthers (29-19-6) Monday night.
Catch the game at 7 p.m. EST with coverage beginning at 6:30 on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Flyers are -130 moneyline favorites with the over/under set at 6.5 goals.
Back to Back… Again
Tonight, the Flyers will be playing in the first game of yet another back-to-back this season. This will be their 12th back-to-back of 17 total this season.
Despite playing in a very vigorous schedule this season, the Flyers have not been deterred too badly by it. They have gone 5-4-1 in both the first and second halves of the back-to-back games.
Tonight will be the 100th meeting all-time between these two franchises. Philadelphia holds a slight edge in the franchise record, posting a 53-39-7 record over Florida. At home, Philly has outplayed the Panthers 24-20-6 all time as well.
According to NHLFlyers.com, the Flyers have struggled to win recently against the Panthers:
The Flyers dropped a 5-2 decision in Florida on Nov. 19 and have lost three straight, as well as five of their last six against the Panthers dating back to December of 2017… Despite their recent record, the Flyers have been successful at home against the Panthers, winning five of their last six and earning at least a point in 8 of 9 meetings at the Wells Fargo Center, going 7-1-1.https://www.nhl.com/flyers/news/5-things-flyers-vs-panthers/c-314867834
Second Period Success:
Philadelphia and Florida are two of the final five remaining teams that have never lost when leading after two periods.
The Panthers lead the Eastern Conference, and rank 2nd in the NHL, for most goals scored in the second period (75), while the Flyers rank 3rd in the NHL for most goals scored in the third period (69)
This game will likely come down to whoever is leading after two.
Goaltender Carter Hart is set to make his return tonight. He has missed time due to an abdomen injury that has set him aside since January 15th. On the season, Hart is 15-11-3, saving .905% of his shots, while allowing 2.61 goals-against. At home, Hart has shined, saving .940% of shots faced, only allowing 1.69 goals on average, en route to his 13-2-2 record.
In honor of the late Ray Emery, Hart will also be wearing this touching mask:
Nothing is official on the Panthers’ end yet, but should our familiar friend get the call, he will be making his 500th career appearance between the pipes. He would be doing so against the team he made his first career start for, debuting for the Flyers on October 7, 2010.
In the result of a Panthers’ win with Bob between the pipes, it would be his 275th career win. On this season, Bobrovsky is 20-15-5, allowing 3.27 goals a night with a .898 save percentage.
The Flyers have won three of their last four games, and earned points in eight of their last ten. They have not lost back-to-back home games since November, and have not gone two straight home games without a point since last season. After winning six in-a-row throughout the middle of January, the Panthers have dropped four of their last five games, including three straight.
With every game beginning to count, the Flyers need to take advantage of these slumping teams. With Hart back, Nolan Patrick skating again, and their last big win in their back pocket, the Flyers should take this one.
This may not be the most confident prediction, but Flyers win, 4-1.
Mandatory Credit – © Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University