Flyers-Panthers: What you need to know

Flyers-Panthers: What you need to know
January 26, 2013, 9:00 am
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Flyers at Panthers -- 7:30 p.m., CSN
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

The Flyers captured their first win of the season by beating the New York Rangers, 2-1, on Thursday night, but it came at a cost.

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros suffered a left shoulder injury late in the second period of the Flyers’ win over the Rangers and will miss about a month -- if not more -- of action.

Next up for the depleted Flyers are the Florida Panthers, who have dropped three in a row after opening their season with a 5-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Records
Flyers: 1-3 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 14th in Eastern Conference)

Panthers: 1-3 (Fourth in Southeast Division, 12th in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two teams met, the Flyers outshot the Panthers 36-13, but came up short in a 2-1 loss on March 20, 2012 at Wells Fargo Center. Stephen Weiss and Sean Bergenheim each scored for Florida and defenseman Brian Campbell had two helpers. Eric Wellwood tallied the Flyers’ lone marker.

In four matchups with the Panthers in 2011-12, the Flyers went 3-1 and outscored Florida 12-6 in the process. Matt Read, Brayden Schenn and Wellwood combined for six of those goals in the season series.

Previous games
Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves and helped the Flyers avoid their worst start in franchise history by beating the Rangers, 2-1. Wayne Simmonds collected a goal and an assist and Jakub Voracek also found the back of the net for the Flyers. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves for the Blueshirts, who had an eight-game winning streak over the Flyers snapped on Thursday.

Florida is coming off a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Jose Theodore made 34 saves and Tomas Fleischmann netted a power-play goal for the Panthers, who have been outscored 11-2 during their current three-game losing streak.

Keep an eye on ...
The Flyers have been plagued by injuries in the early going, but will have some reinforcements available for Saturday’s contest.

Schenn will be back in the Flyers’ lineup against Florida after serving a one-game suspension for charging Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov on Tuesday. He has one assist and five penalty minutes in three games this season.

Veteran winger Mike Knuble, who signed a one-year deal with the Flyers on Friday, could begin his second stint in orange and black on Saturday. The 40-year-old played 310 games in four seasons with the Flyers from 2005-09. He scored 114 goals and posted 221 points in those games, trailing only Simon Gagne’s 239 points during that stretch.

Knuble spent the last three seasons with the Washington Capitals, collecting 59 goals and 111 points in 220 games. The forward started out this season on a tryout with the Detroit Red Wings, but played just one game with their AHL club before being released.

The Flyers recalled Andreas Lilja from the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday to fill the roster spot left vacant by Meszaros. He is expected to serve as the Flyers’ seventh defenseman.

Head to head
Bryzgalov is 4-1-0-1 with a 1.47 goals against average and .944 save percentage in six career starts against Florida.

In 2011-12, Campbell had four assists in four games against the Flyers. Weiss had a goal and two assists to go along with his 20 penalty minutes in the four-game season series.

Did you know?
The Flyers have won four consecutive games on the Panthers’ home ice and five of the last six meetings against Florida overall.

Injuries
Flyers: Danny Briere is still recovering from a hairline fracture in his left wrist. It’s still uncertain when he will make his season debut, but general manager Paul Holmgren said Briere is 50/50 to return this weekend.

Scott Hartnell is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken left foot.

Meszaros will be out for about a month with a left shoulder injury.

Zac Rinaldo is unlikely to play this weekend after suffering a laceration on his right thigh last Sunday in Buffalo.

Kurtis Foster (bruises) has missed the last two games, but is expected to return to the Flyers' lineup against Florida.

Panthers: Weiss was a last-minute scratch for Thursday’s game against Ottawa. He has a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Kris Versteeg (hip surgery/groin) and Michael Caruso (broken arm) are both on Injured Reserve.

Sound off
What are your thoughts on the Flyers bringing back Knuble?