First, we'll take a moment to congratulate winger Cory Stillman on appearing in his 1,000th NHL game. Don't wish to linger for too long on old news, Stiller, so consider your 32 points (13g/19a) in 35 career games against the Cats forgiven. All our best for the next grand, guy...and many thanks for the endless heart and superior effort given every night.
The Panthers put themselves into an early hole, which languished into the third frame, as goals from Mike Richards, Andreas Nodl, and James van Riemsdyk appeared to be all the Flyers needed against a non-responsive, floaty Florida lineup. Cue the final period, when goals by Rostislav Olesz (!) and David Booth (!!) provided a timely return to legitimate competition for a spell until Danny Briere capped the night with an empty-netter at the 19:22 mark. This was the classic fall-behind-early, fall-short-late comeback, with a twist: forward Marty Reasoner may well have launched his club's scoring with a mad scramble in Philadelphia's goalmouth. Sergei Bobrovsky initially appeared to have foiled Reasoner's jam into the net, resulting in a no-goal call by on-ice officials. Off to the War Room we went, where the play was ultimately issued inconclusive, but a righthand overhead replay clearly showed "Bob" scooping the puck out of his net - and cleanly across the goal line - with his right leg. Whatever.
Game Notes (and bear with us...tagger is experiencing a severe hiccup attack):
Assists: PHI - Kris Versteeg, Dan Carcillo, Briere (2), Scott Hartnell, Chris Pronger, Nodl, Kimmo Timonen. FLA - Jason Garrison, Reasoner. Dennis Wideman, Jack Skille, and Stillman each finished with a -3. Booth and Radek Dvorak led with 4 SOG. Blink-and-ya-missed-it: Darcy Hordichuk...4:12 TOI. Leader: Wideman, 24:38. Tomas Vokoun stopped 31 shots. PIM leader: Michael Santorelli (4). FLA outshot PHI 19-8 in the third period. PP: FLA, 1-3. PHI, 0-4. Faceoffs: 37-32, FLA. Hits: 28-25, FLA. Blocked shots: even (20).