The Florida Panthers pelted Philadelphia Flyers netminder Steve Mason with shots for the second time this season and once again came up short. After stopping 38 shots in a 3-1 decision in Sunrise on November 17, this time Mason made 42 saves in the Flyers 3-2 win in overtime at Wells Fargo Center.
After carrying the play for most of the opening period, the Cats grabbed the lead at 15:40 when Aleksander Barkov scored for the third time in the last four games. Barkov worked a pretty give-and-go with Mark Pysyk, firing the defenseman’s return pass by Mason for his fifth goal. Reilly Smith drew the secondary assist on the play.
The Flyers countered 1:27 later on a goal from Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds gained the zone after taking a pass from rookie Ivan Provorov and his wrist shot from long range deflected off Keith Yandle, fooling Florida goalie James Reimer. Andrew MacDonald was also awarded a helper.
Simmonds struck again with a man-advantage goal 10:08 into the second period. After taking a pass from Shayne Gostisbehere, Claude Giroux left a shot go that Simmonds was able to neatly deflect home for his fifteenth of the season. The burly forward leads the NHL with eight power-play goals.
The Panthers launched an all-out assault on the Flyers’ net, out-shooting them 17-4, in the final frame and finally found the equalizer when Jussi Jokinen tallied with 4:48 left in regulation. Jokinen got open in front and snapped a nice backhand pass from Michael Matheson by Mason for his second goal. Colton Sceviour drew the second assist for sending Matheson into the offensive zone.
Mason, who would win his fifth straight start, came up with a big stop just over a minuter later, kicking out a leg to deny a hard Derek MacKenzie blast from just above the left circle.
After the game went to overtime, Jakub Voracek netted the winner with 8.6 seconds left. Reimer made a save on Gostisbehere, but Matheson couldn’t gain possession after Denis Malgin kicked the rebound away from Voracek towards him. Voracek was able to collet the loose puck and slid it over the line for the bonus point unassisted.
The Panthers finished the trying six-game record trip, that saw coach Gerard Gallant fired after the first stop in Raleigh, with a 1-2-3 record. The middling club will return home to face Pittsburgh on Thursday and Vancouver on Saturday.
Lift & Drag
- The overtime decision gave Philadelphia its sixth win a row. The winning streak is the club’s longest in five years.
- After leaving in the first period in Boston, iron man Keith Yandle returned to the lineup to play in his 578th consecutive game.
- Wayne Simmonds posted his second straight two-goal game for the Flyers. Simmonds fired in a pair of power-play markers Sunday in Nashville.
- Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and Denis Malgin each registered five shots to lead the Panthers
- The loss dropped backup keeper James Reimer’s record to 3-4-1. Reimer finished the tilt with 22 saves.
- Travis and the crew at Broad Street Hockey have the other side of this one covered. Do pay them a visit.