After a fairly light schedule over the past two weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers have plenty of opportunities to take the ice over the next several days.
The Flyers continue their three-game homestand Saturday night against the Florida Panthers, who are coming off a disappointing loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Philadelphia (4-2-1) snapped its three-game losing streak with Thursday's 4-3 shootout win over Boston. It was the Flyers' second game in 12 days and first since a 4-2 loss at Florida on Oct. 16.
"We needed to win a game like that where it wasn't easy," coach John Stevens told the Flyers' official Web site Thursday. "You had to work hard to score. I thought the third period we got back to working where we had waves coming at them, there wasn't the ebbs and flow, there was more sustained pressure, which we wanted to see."
Claude Giroux scored the lone shootout goal as Philadelphia opened a stretch of four games in six nights.
"That's what big players do, they come up big in big situations," Flyers center Darroll Powe said of the 21-year-old Giroux. "He's a young guy but nothing seems to bother him. He's confident, he works hard. He's been big for us."
Giroux gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead over Florida last week with his first goal of the season, but the Panthers snapped their four-game slide after getting third-period goals from Radek Dvorak and Steve Reinprecht.
"We knew as a group that we were getting better and that we were starting to play the way we need to play around here and we knew we'd get rewarded for it," coach Peter DeBoer said following that victory. "It was nice to get rewarded for it tonight. We worked for that win, we earned it."
Florida (2-5-1), though, makes its first visit to Philadelphia this season following Friday's 3-2 shootout loss at Pittsburgh.
Reinprecht, who has scored in three straight games, had two goals in a 2:37 stretch of the first period for his 12th career multigoal game, but Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby found the back of the net twice in the third and scored the only shootout goal as Florida lost for the sixth time in seven games.
"The effort's good, but effort doesn't get you two points," Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard said. "We were kind of dumb in the third period. We took too many penalties and stayed in our end the whole time."
Tomas Vokoun kept Florida in the game with 41 saves, but he hasn't won since the Oct. 2 season opener against Chicago in Finland.
Vokoun, 1-3-0 with a 4.21 goals-against average in five career starts in Philadelphia, did not face the Flyers last week. Scott Clemmensen stopped 25 shots to win in his Panthers debut.
After suffering a strained groin in the preseason, Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher could have made his first start of the season Saturday. However, Stevens will go with Ray Emery, who is 6-3-0 with a 3.24 GAA in nine career starts versus the Panthers and made 24 saves against them in the teams' first meeting.
"I thought about putting (Boucher) in tomorrow but I think Ray is coming off of a big win," Stevens said.
Boucher is slated to make his season debut Sunday versus San Jose -- the team he spent the previous two seasons with.
Florida is 9-3-1 versus Philadelphia since the beginning of the 2006-07 season.