Having wrapped up the "annual bonding trip" portion of their road set in Florida, the Flyers are back in action Sunday afternoon at 5, when we'll either be celebrating the Eagles stay of execution or possibly setting things on fire. The Flyers are in Sunrise to face the Panthers, who are off to a good start, with a record exactly on par with that of the Orange & Black (8-4-3).
The Panthers are scoring a full goal per game less, but we're still in the zone where the Flyers' totals are perhaps a little artificially inflated by those 8- and 9-goal performances. They're keeping up well in their own end (9th in goals against per game) and very dangerous on the power play (4th overall), but susceptible on the penalty kill (26th).
Former Flyer Watch
Tonight's 2010 Flyers Reunion Spotlight is on Kris Versteeg, who in 15 games as a Panther has already eclipsed the goal, assist, and point totals of his 27 games as a Flyer.
Versteeg's numbers got a boost on Thursday, when he scored his first ever NHL hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He now has 8 goals, 9 assists, and 17 points, compared with a 7-4-11 line with the Flyers last spring. Versteeg just never got going in Philly, perhaps lacking a clearcut role after joining a stacked group of forwards. With all the names missing from last season's final roster, how often have you heard mention of Versteeg before this week?
Another former Flyer, Scottie Upshall, will miss the game due to injury. Remember Kevin Dineen? The former Flyers captain (and what an era that was) is the man behind the bench for the Panthers these days. We're happy to see him following in dad's footsteps.
Winger Tomas Fleischmann (5 G, 9 A) and center Stephen Weiss (5 G, 7 A) follow Versteeg in the tallies, along with defensemen Brian Campbell (14 A) and Dmitry Kulikov (12 A).
Jose Theodore has 11 of 16 Panthers starts in net so far, posting a 6-2-2 record on a 2.39 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He has one shutout on the season and is capably backed up by Jacob Markstrom. As of this posting, we haven't heard who'll start for Florida, but we assume Theodore will face Ilya Bryzgalov.
Photo: Steve Mitchell-US Presswire