SUNRISE, Fla. – Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere skated on Thursday morning at BB&T Center and coach Alain Vigneault was encouraged by the defenseman’s mobility.
“Ghost’’ has been sidelined for three games after aggravating some scar tissue in his surgically repaired left knee.
“I would say he’s a hundred percent,’’ Vigneault said. “He practiced today, he’s going to practice tomorrow. He skated for the first time in four days and he said he felt much better today.’’
If Gostisbehere makes it through Friday’s practice OK, there’s a chance he could play against the Lightning in Tampa on Saturday.
>Road under repair
Carter Hart, he of the 2-9-1 record, 4.01 goals-against average and .850 save percentate on the road prior to Thursday night’s game, was looking to get back on track away from the Wells Fargo Center in the game against the Panthers.
“I think he’s looking forward to the opportunity,’’ Vigneault said. “This (the Panthers) are a highly skilled team, they have a really good transition game.’’
>Blocking shots in bundles
One thing that stands out with this Flyers’ team is the number of shots it blocks, including the forwards.
Prior to Thursday night’s game against the Panthers, the Flyers were ranked No. 1 in the NHL in fewest shots to the net allowed (28.6 average).
In the 4-1 win over Florida on Monday night in Philadelphia, Travis Konecny typified this renewed effort with a whopping five blocks.
Another noteworthy stat: The Flyers have held opponents to under 20 shots eight times already, which is first in the NHL.
>Closing in on Clarke
Prior to the Panthers game, Claude Giroux was just two away from passing Bobby Clarke as the franchise’s all-time leader in power-play assists.
Clarke established the mark at 234.
When Giroux passes Clarke, it will be the first non-goal-related mark of Clarke’s to fall after his 1984 retirement.
Clarke holds the Flyers’ record for most points, assists and games played.
The Flyers lead the NHL in positive goal differential at home, with a plus-39 leading the way. They have given up just 2.11 goals per game at the Wells Fargo Center. . .The Flyers also lead the NHL in third period goals, with 72 prior to the Florida game. . .And, to complete the hat trick, the Flyers are first in faceoff percentage at 54.4 percent. Sean Couturier has moved up to second at 59.2 percent. Since Jan. 1, he’s been winning draws at a 62.2 clip. . .Ivan Provorov is seventh in the NHL in time on ice at 24:56 per game. He is the second-youngest in the top-seven group. Ottawa’s Tomas Chabot, who is just two weeks younger than Provorov, leads the NHL at 26:05.