Game Preview: Flyers prepare for rubber match vs. Panthers

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Flyers' Owen Tippett
ST. LOUIS, MO – MARCH 24: Philadelphia Flyers right wing Owen Tippett (74) during a NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the St. Louis Blues on March 24, 2022, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

It’s Throwback Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center, celebrating the 1960s-1970s Philadelphia Flyers teams. Speaking of a throwback, could they play like the Stanley Cup teams from the 1974-1976?

In 2022-2023, the Flyers are 4-2-0 by the grace of the divine soft pretzel God at the Wells Fargo Center. Injuries are piling, but the youth are stepping up to supplement much-needed gaps. All of this puts Philadelphia at third place in the hotly competitive Metropolitan Division.

On the road against the Florida Panthers on October 19th, 2022, the Flyers lost 4-3. In the loss, they overcame a 2-0 deficit, tying the score at 2-2. In addition to avenging this loss, Philadelphia must bounce back from their performance in a shutout loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Will Philadelphia rightfully celebrate the Broad Street Bullies versus the Panthers? Here’s the tale of the tape ahead of the 7pm faceoff:

Florida Panthers

Tonight is the second of three meetings between Florida and Philadelphia in 2022-2023. Carter Verhaeghe, Rudolfs Balcers, and Josh Mahura lit the lamp in the first meeting; Verhaeghe doing it twice. Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 31/34 shots on goal.

Recently, the Panthers struggled on the road, allowing teams to get an early lead. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated them, 4-2.

Here is the tentative lineup for the Florida Panthers, per Steven Goldstein:

Verhaeghe-Barkov-Tkachuk
Balcers-Bennett-Reinhart
Luostarinen-Lundell-White
Lomberg-Staal-Hornqvist

Forsling-Montour
Mahura-Gudas
Staal-Kiersted

Bobrovsky
(Knight)

Matthew Tkachuk earns the spotlight from the Flyers’ defenders. He dished two assists in the prior victory this season in Philadelphia. A thorn in the side of numerous teams, Tkachuk totaled nine points (4G, 5A) thus far. Following the loss to the Blackhawks, Tkachuk is ready to pick up the pace in hopes of recovering a road victory:

“This is a two-game road trip, and we’re not a team that’s going to lose two in a row. That’s our mindset. Would’ve loved to get the first one to set up the road trip, but now we’ve got to really grind out a tough one against Philly.”

Matthew Tkachuk; 10/27/2022

Tkachuk isn’t hogging the wealth. Nine different forwards scored two or more points so far this season. Eetu Luostarinen scored six points (3G, 3A) this season, three points behind Tkachuk.

Philadelphia Flyers

Here is the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers, per Bill Meltzer:

Farabee-Hayes-Konecny
Cates, N-Laughton-Tippett
Sedlak-Frost-Allison
Deslauriers-MacEwen

Provorov-DeAngelo
Sanheim-Braun
Seeler-Zamula
Ristolainen

Hart
(Sandström)

Having Tippett in the lineup is a welcome sign for the squad. He collided with Ondrej Palat on opening night versus the New Jersey Devils, leaving with a suspected concussion. It’ll be the first time he’s battled the Panthers since the Claude Giroux trade. While James van Riemsdyk is recovering from his broken finger, the Flyers recover a winger who attacks the net. Tortorella commented on Tippett:

“I just envision him as a big strong forward, and I want him to play that way; bringing pucks to the net. We’re gonna’ put him on the flank of the powerplay tonight. Hopefully his shot will give us some dividends along the way.”

John Tortorella; 10/27/2022

Noah Cates is having a solid start to a season for a prospect spread around the lineup. He’s earned the trust of Tortorella, providing value as a two-way forward. His forechecking ability is noticeable on the wing, which he returns to after a few games down the middle. Shifting him towards the wing is an attempt by Tortorella to free his game, taking away defensive responsibility. Scott Laughton will center the line featuring Noah and Tippett.

“I want him to be a little selfish. I think he needs to get his game going again, and I want to give him a chance on the wing where he can just go play.”

John Tortorella; 10/26/2022

Place Your Bets

Moneyline for the Philadelphia Flyers (+170)
Moneyline for the Florida Panthers (-200)
Over/Under set at 6.5 including overtime and shootout.

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Game Information

You can watch the Philadelphia Flyers host the Florida Panthers on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The radio broadcast will be available on 97.5 the Fanatic and on Flyers Radio 24/7.

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

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