♪ What would you do if I gave you the puck Would you skate by and score one on me? ♪
Jonathan Huberdeau scored his first two goals of the season, including the go-ahead shorthanded marker in the third period, to power the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 comeback win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. He also drew an assist to finish the game with three points, four shots and a +2 rating in his best performance of the season thus far.
Huberdeau opened the scoring with three minutes left in the first period after Aleksander Barkov won an offensive zone faceoff with the Cats on a power play. Patric Hornqvist dropped the puck back to Aaron Ekblad after Barkov’s clean win and he passed off to Huberdeau, who moved into an open lane and beat Carter Hart with a hard wrister from the left circle.
After a well-played twenty minutes the Cats wobbled in the second, allowing the Flyers to move ahead on goals from Claude Giroux, a power-play blast with Gustav Forsling being the man in the box, and an unassisted shorthanded breakaway by Cam Atkinson after a careless give-away by Sam Reinhart.
A late 3-on-2 rush would see the Panthers even things up with 27 seconds left in the frame. Owen Tippett would drive to the net to convert a beautiful backhand pass by MacKenzie Weegar. Huberdeau picked up the secondary assist on Tippett’s first of the season.
Huberdeau would see Atkinson’s shorty 7:53 into the third to give the Cats the lead. A errant pass by former Panther Keith Yandle would spring Bennett and Huberdeau on a 2-on-1 break. Bennett sent Huberdeau in alone on Hart, who came up with a big pad save, but the crafty wing was able to bank the rebound home for the eventual game-winner. Sonk!
Reinhart would (sort of) make up for his earlier gaffe with an empty net goal from Anton Lundell and Mason Marchment. All three of those players extended point-streaks to three games.
Sergei Bobrovsky posted his fourth straight win of the young season, finishing the game with 27 saves. Bob took care of all 12 shots he faced in third, lncluding a breakaway denial of Nicolas Aube-Kubel early in the frame with the score still tied. Bobrovsky had a stellar sequence early in the tilt when he made a solid save on Travis Konencny and then stoned Sean Couturier on the rebound.
The Panthers went 1 for 7 and surrendered a shorthanded goal on the power play and went 1 for 4 on the penalty kill and got the shorty back, so special teams remains a bit of a work in progress. Florida was strong at even-strength outscoring the Flyers 2-0 to pull out a tough road win against a quality opponent to stay unbeaten. The Cats will host the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Monday.
Lift & Drag
- Dating back to last season, the Panthers (5-0) have won 11 straight regular-season games. Cue up Admiral Ackbar because Monday’s game against the Desert Dogs is giving off trap vibes.
- This is the second time in Sergei’s Bobrovksy’s career that he has won his first four starts, After beating his former team, Bob’s GAA remained at 1.99 and he is sporting a gaudy .942 save percentage,
- Former Panthers defenseman and buyout casualty Keith Yandle was -2 with two shots on goal in 18:05 of ice time. The Sonkmeister cross-checked Sam Reinhart in the second, but the Cats failed to cash in on the man-advantage.
- On a night the Cats struggled on faceoffs, Sam Bennett won 67% of his and picked up his first helper of the season on Jonathan Huberdeau’s winner.
- Carter Hart stopped 27 of the 30 shots the Panthers put on him during Philadelphia’s first regular season loss of the 2021-22 campaign.
- Former Flyer Radko Gudas dished out a game-high seven hits and blocked a game-high four shots,
- For more on the Cats second win on the road, take a stroll over to Broad Street Hockey.
Video Recap (courtesy of NHL.com)