After getting roughed up and shut out by the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, the Florida Panthers will try to regain some momentum as they head to Philadelphia for their third consecutive road game to start the season. Florida was outplayed in every statistical category, including shots on goal, face-off wins, hits, giveaways and takeaways. Usually when that’s the case, the scoreboard won’t look too good for your club at the end of the game. In return, the Panthers surrendered seven goals to the Blues and were not able to generate any of their own.
Tuesday night when they head to Philadelphia, they’ll have an excellent opportunity to erase their most recent game from their memory. The Flyers have started the season 0-3-0 and have not been able to generate any type of offense. They rank towards the bottom of the league in goals per game (1.0) and have given up an average of three goals per game thus far.
If the Panthers can put three goals in the net, numbers would say there’s a good chance they head back home to take on the Phoenix Coyotes with a 2-1-0 record. If only it was that simple.
It’s any given day in the NHL. Anyone can win on any given night. Here are four keys to Florida winning in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
1. Solid goaltending.
Giving up seven goals in a game is inexcusable. It should never happen and hopefully it won’t happen again for the Panthers this season.
2. Hold the Flyers’ big guns in check.
Only five players have managed to record a point for the Flyers this season. Claude Giroux is not one of them. He’ll be eager to get on the stat sheet for something other than the minus-1 he is responsible for this year. The Panthers blue line needs to make sure he isn’t able to do so.
3. Get the young guys going early.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov looked like a solid one-two punch in the opener. Both were held in check in St. Louis. That can’t be the case on Tuesday.
4. Put at least one in on the power play.
The Panthers are one of eight teams yet to register a goal with the man advantage. That trend needs to end in Philly.
It would be an accomplishment to head back to Sunrise with four points on the road in three games for a team that struggled getting points last season. A quick 2-1-0 start could definitely help the Panthers gain some early confidence.
Matt Schreiber is the Florida Panthers Lead Writer for The Hockey Writers. He grew up just outside of Washington, DC before moving to Boca Raton, FL, where he currently resides. He also covers the NHL for Bleacher Report.