The Florida Panthers started off their five-game homestand with a solid win over the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers last night at the BB&T Center. Sean Bergenheim notched his first two goals of the season, and Tim Thomas made 38 saves to limit the Flyers to a single goal in Florida's 3-1 victory.
After the teams skated to a scoreless first period, Bergenheim netted his first regular season goal in 18 months to open the scoring at 3:35 of the second. Bergy's wraparound tally was assisted by recent acquisitions Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen, who was making his Panthers debut after being recalled from San Antonio.
Bergenheim would score again ten minutes later with the Cats on a power play. This time, Marcel Goc and Erik Gudbranson would collect the helpers. It was only Goc's third assist of the season.
The Flyers would finally solve Thomas in the early stages of the third period while on a power play courtesy of a Dmitry Kulikov roughing minor. Wayne Simmonds did the honors for his fifth of the season, with Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux picking up the assists on the goal.
The Flyers peppered Thomas with shots the rest of the frame in a attempt to tie things up, but Erik Gudbranson banked a shot in off goaltender Steve Mason to complete the scoring with 4:08 remaining, giving the Panthers some much-needed breathing room. Scottie Upshall continued to add to his point total with one of the assists, while Brad Boyes was awarded the other.
Thomas made 19 saves in the third period to post his sixth win of the season.
The Cats are now 4-4-1 under new bench boss Peter Horachek and playing much more competitive hockey since the coaching change, which coincided with Thomas' return to the lineup, was made.
Keeping this brief as work beckons, so feel free to celebrate the Panthers' win in the comment section.