Whatever positives the Florida Panthers built up over the first four games and one period of the season disappeared in sea of red lights as the Philadelphia Flyers scored four times in a fifteen span during the second period en route to an easy 5-1 victory.
After a well-played opening twenty minutes that saw the Cats out-shoot the Flyers 15-12, the wheels fell off the bus early in the second as both Mark Pysyk and Jared McCann vacated the front of the net, leaving Sean Couturier all kinds of time and space to receive Jakub Voracek’s pass and solve Roberto Luongo. Claude Giroux picked up the secondary assist on the goal, which came at the 1:05 mark.
South Florida’s own Shayne Gostisbehere skated by Vincent Trocheck to take a cross from Wayne Simmonds and went top-shelf on Luongo from the left circle 6:30 later to put the Flyers up two. Rookie defenseman Robert Hagg drew the second assist to register his first NHL point.
After failing to take advantage of a shorthanded chance, the Panthers forgot about the dangerous Giroux, who took a long outlet pass from Valtteri Filppula and easily beat Luongo on a breakaway. Gotisbehere garnered his second point of the period with the second assist on the power-play marker that came at the 13:22 mark.
The onslaught continued at 16:16 when Travis Konecny blew by Trocheck only to get stopped by Luongo. The rebound came out to rookie Nolan Patrick, whose slick little drop pass allowed Dale Weise a no stress finish.
Jamie McGinn finally got the Panthers on the board with 3:50 left in regulation. McGinn drove to the net to convert Nick Bjugstad’s deflection of Radim Vrbata’s centering pass for a power-play goal, his first in Panther uniform.
Filppula was credited with the game’s final goal, an empty-netter at 18:37, that Bjugstad actually drew back into his own goal from the Philadelphia blue line.
After looking pretty good during games one, two and three, the trip to Pennsylvania shows the Panthers have plenty of work to do. The power play still appears anemic and both the Penguins and Flyers had tons of open space to work with in the Florida end. The Cats will need to tighten things up when the Penguins come to town on Friday.
Lift & Drag
- Owen Tippett made his NHL debut and led all skaters with 7 shots on goal. Tippett logged 11:39 TOI and finished with a -2 rating.
- Claude Giroux’s assist on the game-opening goal was his 400th point in the NHL.
- Speaking of game-opening goals, the Panthers have surrendered the first goal in all five games this season.
- Michal Neuvirth made 40 saves to post his first win of the 2017-18 campaign. Roberto Luongo finished with 34 stops and fell to 1-2.
- Jamie McGinn, Mike Matheson and Mark Pysyk all finished with -3 ratings. Nick Bjugstad, Vincent Trocheck and Evgenii Dadonov joined Tippett with minus-two ratings.
- After a tough 2016-17, Jakub Voracek is off to hot start with 10 assists in six games.
- Do a fly by of Board Street Hockey for the winner’s take of last night’s affair.