The Philadelphia Flyers will look for their third consecutive victory when they host the undefeated Florida Panthers on Saturday.
The Flyers’ season-opening four-game homestand began with one point in a shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks. They responded with victories over the Seattle Kraken and Boston Bruins.
Cam Atkinson, who was acquired in the offseason from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jake Voracek, continued his torrid start with two goals against Boston.
“Between the second and third, we just said, ‘We win a period, we win a game,” Atkinson said. “All the boys were howling — it’s just a good vibe and it’s fun to be a part of this group.”
Travis Konecny also scored a huge goal against the Bruins, giving the young standout three goals through the first three games.
“Still a young player but a very important part of our team that came here in incredible shape this year,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said of Konecny. “He’s one of our top two, three conditioned athletes, worked extremely hard, was able to work out because society permitted it. Took full advantage of it, and we expect him to be a true force for us this year.”
Goaltender Martin Jones made 37 saves in his debut for the Flyers after Carter Hart started the first two games. Hart was awarded a three-year contract extension before the season.
“Jonesy gave us a chance early on,” Flyers center Scott Laughton said. “It’s tough, he came in not playing since exhibition and goes against Boston. I thought he was really big for our group.”
The surging Panthers will be searching for their fifth consecutive win to open the season.
Florida has outscored its four opponents — Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche — by a wide margin of 18-7.
It’s the first time in franchise history that the Panthers have opened a season with four straight victories.
“There’s some progress there,” Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think consistency is something that we stressed coming into the season, that our start was going to be very critical to what’s going to happen at the end. We’ve played some good opponents and there’s been some good signs.”
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots in the Panthers’ most recent win, 4-1 over the Avalanche. It was the 300th victory of Bobrovsky’s career.
“It definitely means something,” Bobrovsky said. “I’ve been fortunate to play with great players, with great defensemen, forwards and teams. I appreciate them for this milestone. I had fun playing in the game.”
Through the first four games, the Panthers have excelled in every area — offense, defense and goaltending. More than that, they have exhibited solid team chemistry this early in the season.
“We’re having a lot of fun right now,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. “Coming to the rink since Day 1, we’ve been working hard. Whether it’s on the ice or at the gym, we like being around each other. We’ve just put the work in. We’ve beat a lot of good teams so far.”
–Field Level Media