Recap: Flyers feast on Lyon, double-up Panthers 6-3
Cats fail to build four-game winning streak
The Florida Panthers had their seven-game (6-0-1) point streak come to an unceremonious end in a disappointing 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center that saw backup goaltender Alex Lyon surrender five goals on 23 shots.
It was the third time this season the Cats had a chance to build a four-game winning streak and the third time they failed to do so.
Florida got off to a good start when Matthew Tkachuk opened the scoring 75 seconds into the action. Eetu Luostarinen gained the line and crossed to Carter Verhaeghe and he slap-passed into the low slot where Tkachuk deflected the puck past a helpless Carter Hart for his 34th goal of the season.
The @FlaPanthers get on the board first!— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) March 21, 2023
Bally Sports+ is a new option for watching Panthers games. Learn more here ➡️ https://t.co/8va8dYUOxV#NHL | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/UsnP8fxj2R
The Flyers quickly replied at 4:43 to tie the score. After Eric Staal turned the puck over along the boards, a series of passes saw the puck end up on the stick of Noah Cates. He snapped a long shot towards the goal that was redirected in by Joel Farabee. The secondary assist went to rookie defenseman Egor Zamula, who was playing in his first NHL game since December 1.
After yielding Tkachuk’s goal on the Panthers second shot, Hart stopped 17 after that to get his club to the dressing room with the score knotted at one.
Philadelphia took the lead 8:42 into the second when Brendan Lemieux took the puck away from Radko Gudas and centered to Travis Sanheim, who beat Lyon upstairs.
The Panthers would equalize at the 14:17 mark. After Aleksander Barkov missed wide, Sam Reinhart retrieved the puck and rang it up the boards back to the captain. Barkov moved below the goal line and then sent a pinpoint pass out to Brandon Montour, who snuck down from the right point.
Monty finds the opening! #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/OvLrZXePWC— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) March 22, 2023
The game was lost in a terrible two-minute span of defensive hockey to close out the middle frame.
Scott Laughton gave the Flyers the lead back at 16:54 after Tony DeAngelo sent him in alone on Lyon after a diving Colin White almost broke the pass up. Zamula picked up his second assist of the night on the pretty goal that saw Laughton make Lyon look every bit the AHLer.
Sanheim picked up a garbage goal at 18:05 after Noah Cates took a pass from Farabee and sped deep into the Florida zone. Lyon lost his stick and Aaron Ekblad couldn’t make a play to prevent Cates from getting it out in front.
Ivan Provorov cut through the crease to pot an against the grain cross from Tyson Foerster to put Philadelphia up by three with 1:05 left in the period. Yet another self-inflicted wound as Eric Staal couldn’t handle a pass leading to turnover that was collected by Morgan Frost, who knifed through the zone before dishing off to Foerster.
Reinhart would notch a power-play goal with 6;11 left in regulation, from Barkov and Montour, by cleaning up a rebound in the slot, but it was too little, too late,
The @FlaPanthers take advantage of the extra men!— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) March 22, 2023
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Frost would complete the scoring with an empty-netter assisted by Foerster with 2:01 left on the clock.
A lack of timely finishing, especially during the 19-shot opening period, some ghastly mistakes in their own end and shoddy goaltending combined to do the Panthers in on the second end of the back-to-back. Not having Sam Bennett and Anthony Duclair in the lineup didn’t help either. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but one wonders if starting Sergei Bobrovsky would have been the better play given how Lyon performed against his former team. Lyon was fine in the first period, stopping nine of 10 shots, but he looked completely unnerved when the Flyers turned it on late in the second. The Cats will return home, where they are simply a much better team, to face Toronto and the New York Rangers to close out the week. They still lead the Pittsburgh Penguins, who play in Colorado tonight, by a point, but it’s Pittsburgh who now holds a game in hand. Go Avalanche!
Lift & Drag
- Carter Hart earned First Star honors for his 41-save performance. Hart won both of his starts against Florida this season. He stopped 45 shots in a 4-3 Flyers victory on October 27.
- Matthew Tkachuk has collected six goals during his five-game streak, and 15 points in a six-game point streak. Tkachuk is fourth in the NHL in scoring with 96 points.
- Givani Smith played his first game since February 20 and registered three shots on goal in 7:20 TOI. Casey Fitzgerald also suited up and was credited with two hits in 7:31. Both players finished the game with minus-one ratings.
- John Tortorella is one win from becoming the 12th NHL coach with 700 wins. Torts is 699-573-144 with 37 ties in 21 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Flyers.
- Eric Staal, Gustav Forsling and Ryan Lomberg each finished the game with minus-three ratings.
- The Panthers dropped the season series to Philadelphia, two games to one. Read more about it at Broad Street Hockey./