Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flyers ready for franchise's first day-night doubleheader in Florida

Sunrise, FL--The Philadelphia Flyers, already depleted by injuries and looking up in the standings, face a tough stretch in the schedule, including today's day-night doubleheader, the first in franchise history. However, it is not the only day-night double header of the season, it is merely the first of four--an unfortunate and unavoidable consequence of the lock-out-shortened, 48-game NHL schedule. After a 1 p.m. game today against the Florida Panthers the team will board a one-hour flight from Miami to Tampa for an 8 p.m. contest with the Lightning. "It's tough but you just psych yourself up and do what you have to do," said first-year captain Claude Giroux. Coaches and players expressed that the main concern was if the first game went into overtime or a shootout, delaying the arrival in Tampa. All thirty NHL teams will play at least three doubleheaders this year, while twelve teams play six, the maximum the league would allow. "The health of our players comes first," said Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner. "However, we needed to cram in games during days and times that were not ideal, and that, unfortunately, included scheduling many doubleheaders." The Flyers will fly from Tampa immediately following the game tonight to New York for a 10 a.m. Sunday matchup tomorrow morning with the Rangers.

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