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FLASH SITS: Horachek Benches Fleischmann During Slump

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

TORONTO -- For the first time since joining the Panthers in 2011, Tomas Flesichmann missed a game for something other than the flu as Horachek made him a healthy scratch.

"It looks like his enthusiasm .-.-. he doesn't have the drive right now,'' coach Peter Horachek said. "He needs to pick it back up and get his game back. He's a talented player, a good player.''

Fleischmann led the Panthers in scoring the past two seasons but has slumped this year. Fleischmann, who is fourth on the team this year with 23 points, hasn't scored a goal in his past 18 games. He has five assists during that span.

"I didn't expect it,'' said Fleischmann, who watched the second half of Thursday's game from the press gondola atop the arena.

"I always try to do what I can to help the team win, but it didn’t work last game. .-.-. Obviously, I’m supposed to score goals.’’

Jimmy Hayes was scratched for the third time in five games and Erik Gudbranson sat for his third straight game.