Aleksander Barkov and the Florida Panthers face the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Back on Oct. 16, the Flyers blew a three-goal lead but managed to pull out a 6-5 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers in Philadelphia.
The win lifted the Flyers to a mediocre 3-3-0 on the young season, while the Panthers left Wells Fargo 0-2-2.
Much has changed for both teams as they meet in Philadelphia again Tuesday night.
The Flyers, who were floundering amid all kinds of injuries, notably in goal, went 3-0-1 on a western trip and came home to two more wins, making them 5-0-1 in their last six games.
Captain Claude Giroux has four goals and 11 points and is a plus-8 during the six-game point streak. Monday, he was named the NHL's third star of the week, with three goals, eight points during the week.
"When everybody is playing well, the job becomes a lot easier, and TK (Travis Konecny) and Coots (Sean Couturier) are playing very well, so we are trying to have good chemistry and keep going," Giroux said after Saturday's 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Giroux's 50th career three-point game gave him 699 career points -- fourth on the club's all-time list.
"It is a great honor," he said. "There have been a lot of good players who played here, and to be able to be in that group is really special."
That group? Bobby Clarke leads with 1,210, Bill Barber has 883 and Brian Propp 849.
The Panthers, 0-3-1 at home to start the season, just swept a three-game homestand and bring a four-game winning streak into this rematch. They have allowed six goals in the four games.
"We just learned how to win games and of course everybody is going to make mistakes and we just need to live with that," said Aleksander Barkov, who had two goals in the first game against the Flyers. "Of course, if you make a mistake you have four other guys on the ice who can make up for it. We have been really good as a team, we've been really good together, the goalies have been unbelievable, so here we are."
Brian Elliott pitched the Flyers' first shutout of the season in Philadelphia's Saturday win, while James Reimer was stout in goal in Florida's 6-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Sunday night.
Reimer's effort came after Roberto Luongo made his season debut with three straight victories.
"Yeah, he was unbelievable in net," Barkov said. "Goalies have won the games for us the last four games and have been really good and we can rely on them when needed and of course we just want to play in the offensive zone as much as possible but of course when they have a shot, we're really confident with those guys."
Calvin Pickard was in goal for the Flyers in the first meeting, but Elliott is 6-3-0 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .912 save percentage lifetime against the Panthers, who have lost their last five games at Wells Fargo.
Luongo, 3-0-0 with 1.42/.952 season numbers, is 10-11-3 with 2.76/.921 against the Flyers.
Evgenii Dadonov leads the Panthers in scoring with seven goals and 16 points and has an 11-game point streak. Mike Hoffman, third on the team with 7-7-14, has a 10-game streak -- the first time in franchise history Florida has had simultaneous 10-game point streaks.
The Philly picture should be getting brighter soon when James van Riemsdyk, out since the second game of the season with a lower body injury, returns.
Giroux and Wayne Simmonds both scored twice and Jordan Weal had a regulation goal and the shootout winner in the first game -- while Frank Vatrano also scored twice for the Panthers.