Carter Hart returned with a cool new mask honoring former Flyer keeper Ray Emery after missing nine due to a abdominal strain and stopped 30 of 31 shots.
The ice cold Cats have only scored 10 times in six games since breaking for the All-Star Game. Four of those goals came in the third period of Florida’s last win against Toronto.
MacKenzie Weegar got the Panthers only goal 3:07 into the first period when he pounded the puck in after Aaron Ekblad’s initial shot deflected off Travis Konecny and came out to him. Aleksander Barkov drew the secondary assist on the goal, which came on Florida’s first shot on Hart.
A stick-less Barkov would figure in Philadelphia’s tying goal with 6:02 left in frame. This allowed the Flyers to move the puck back and forth across the top of the offensive zone before Ivan Provorov ripped a wrist shot over Sergei Bobrovsky’s glove. Assists on the Provorov’s tenth went to Matt Niskanen and Tyler Pitlick.
Jakub Voracek hopped off the bench and beat Ekblad to Justin Braun’s pass/dump-in to the zone and tapped it by the defenseman before feeding James van Riemsdyk for the go-ahead goal 5:24 into the second. Weegar tried to get over to JVR, but couldn’t get there in time to break up the play.
The Panthers got a bit unlucky again when Scott Laughton’s centering pass deflected off Brett Connolly and came to van Riemsdyk, who was stopped by Bobrovsky, before Travis Sanheim scooped the rebound into the yawning net at 19:08. Tough spot to give up a goal and go down by two.
Hart would stop all 11 Florida shots in the third and Claude Giroux would complete the scoring with an unassisted shorthanded goal with Bobrovsky off for an extra-attacker with 1:09 remaining in regulation. The clinching goal came right after Jonathan Huberdeau failed to tuck a rebound into a open Flyers net.
The Panthers gave a pretty good effort, but like Saturday’s hard-fought loss to Pittsburgh, they couldn’t provide Bobrovsky, who stopped 30 shots, with enough goal support and fell to 1-4-1 in their last six games.
The playoff contenders in the Metropolitan Division keep winning, which is limiting Florida’s path to the playoffs to beating out the Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic. The Cats remain two points behind the Buds with a game in hand. Florida will take on the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Prudential Center while the Leafs host the Arizona Coyotes, who could be tired after winning 3-2 in Montreal last night.
Lift & Drag
- Aleksander Barkov recorded his 400th career point with his assist on MacKenize Weegar’s first goal since October 24. Barkov is the third player to collect 400 points in a Panthers uniform.
- Speaking of milestones, Sergei Bobrovsky appeared in his 500th NHL game. Bobrovsky started his NHL career with Philadelphia back in 2010.
- The Flyers raised their record at home this season to an impressive to 19-5-4. Boston is the only team to have earned more points (47) than the Flyers on home ice.
- Claude Giroux now has goals in consecutive games after ending a 13-game drought.
- Each team went 0-for-5 on the power play. They play the season series rubber match Thursday at the BB&T Center.
- For more on last night’s game, take a stroll down Broad Street Hockey.