The Florida Panthers completed a perfect sweep of its six-game homestand with an impressive 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Sunday matinee action from the BB&T Center.
Aleksander Barkov lit the lamp for the fifth time in the last four games to open the scoring 2:41 into the first period. Keith Yandle sprung Barkov with blue line to blue line pass and he deked Petr Mrazek to the ice before finishing on the backhand. The second assist on the power-play goal went to goaltender Roberto Luongo, his 22nd career helper.
Evgenii Dadonov put the Panthers up by two at the 14:49 mark, pulling up and beating Mrazek with a quick wrist shot from the left circle after reeling in Nick Bjugstad’s long, bouncing pass in the neutral zone. Aaron Ekblad earned the secondary helper, winning the puck from Travis Konecny deep in the Florida zone.
Dadonov scored again with a 1:54 left to go in the second period to put the game out of reach. Alex Petrovic broke up a centering pass in his own end and Barakov collected the loose puck and sent Dadonov in on Mrazek. The Russian sniper fended off Ivan Provorov and fired past Mrazek’s glove to make it a 3-0 game.
Jonathan Huberdeau would add another goal for the home side 2:47 into the final frame. After Mark Pysyk knocked the puck free after a Flyers’ faceoff win, Jamie McGinn gathered in the loose disk and sent Huberdeau away with a pretty backhand pass and he bullied his way past Radko Gudas before sliding a backhand along the ice through Mrazek’s pads.
Luongo finished the game with 39 stops, but he could not stop Konecny with 3;21 left in regulation to get the shutout. After taking a drop pass off the boards from Claude Giroux, Brandon Manning slapped a hard shot on the net that Luongo stopped. Unfortunately, Konecny was in perfect position to knock the rebound home for his 17th goal.
With their season-high sixth straight win and Carolina’s 3-2 loss to Winnipeg, the Panthers moved past the Carolina Hurricanes in the standings. Florida remains one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, with three games in hand on both teams. The Cats will head to Tampa for a Tuesday night tile versus the Lightning before returning to Sunrise for a five-game homestand.
Full Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)
Lift & Drag
- Florida’s six-game winning streak, all at home, is the longest for the Panthers since they won twelve in a row from December 15, 2015 to January 10, 2016.
- Evgenii Dadonov’s brace allowed him to hit the 20-goal mark in the NHL for the first time ever. Dadonov left for the KHL after scoring 10 goals in 55 games during his first stint with Florida.
- Jonathan Huberdeau joined Dadonov at 20 goals, equaling his career-high set during the 2015-16 campaign. It took Huberdeau 76 games that season, this year he did it in 63.
- After winning his first three starts with the Flyers after coming over from Detroit, Petr Mrazek has now lost three in a row. Mrazek finished the game with 22 saves.
- The Panthers scored all four of their goals off stretch passes that led to breakaway opportunities.
- Philadelphia defenseman Ivan Provorov led all skaters with six shots on goal. Provorov also logged a game-high 26:45 of ice time.
- With the Panthers two to one season-series win, feel free to strut down Broad Street Hockey for their take on the game.
Condensed Game (courtesy of NHL.com)