Peter Forsberg wasn’t with Philadelphia the last time it lost five straight. With the Flyers in danger of matching that slide, their captain only will be able to watch.
Forsberg will be sidelined with a wrist injury as struggling Philadelphia tries to avoid losing five straight for the first time in more than 4 1/2 years when it takes on the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center on Friday.
Forsberg left after spraining his left wrist in the first period of a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
The center, who has two goals and six points in seven games this season, was hurt when he used his arm to brace himself against the boards. A team official said X-rays were negative and Forsberg will be re-examined by a specialist on Friday in Orlando, Fla.
“I don’t know exactly how long it’s going to take, but not too long,” said Forsberg, who has 237 goals and 585 assists in 647 career games with the Quebec/Colorado franchise and Philadelphia. “Hopefully it’s just a sprain and maybe a week or so.”
Forsberg scored 75 points in just 60 games last season, his first with the Flyers (1-5-1), and was named captain last month following the retirement of Keith Primeau. The 2003 Hart Trophy winner while with Colorado also was playing on a surgically repaired right ankle that was expected to keep him out until January.
Now he will watch as Philadelphia—now in last place in the Atlantic Division—tries to avoid losing five straight for the first time since March 28-April 4, 2002.
“It’s definitely not a good situation, and it’s our own fault,” Forsberg said. “It’s a long road, but we better turn this around soon because there are some jobs at stake. We can’t continue to do this. We’ve got to start winning some games.”
Sami Kapanen’s short-handed goal accounted for all the scoring in Thursday’s loss. Philadelphia has been outscored 19-5 during its skid.
After losing its third in a row on the road, Florida (3-3-0) returns home with a chance to match its best start there since the 1995-96 season, when the Panthers earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. They are 26-6-4 at home since Nov. 25.
Florida, though, has nine losses and a tie at home against Philadelphia since Jan. 17, 2000. Overall, the Panthers have four losses and a tie against the Flyers since a 4-3 overtime victory in Philadelphia on Jan. 8, 2004.
Florida dropped a 5-2 decision to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. New starting goaltender Alex Auld was removed with less than 7 1/2 minutes to play in the first period after yielding four goals on 12 shots.
Backup goalie Ed Belfour fared no better at the outset, yielding a goal within 2 minutes of entering the game. But Florida coach Jacques Martin cited the players in front of Auld and Belfour.
“I don’t put any blame on the goalie,” Martin said. “I think the goalies have been making some saves to hide the fact that we were making too many turnovers.”
Jozef Stumpel and Nathan Horton scored power-play goals for the Panthers, who continue to play well with the man advantage. Florida has at least one power-play goal in five straight games and has converted an NHL-leading 31.3 percent (10-for-32) of its opportunities.