Quick Take: Red-Hot Flyers beat tired Panthers 5-2
The outcome of this game was probably never in question. The Panthers have been generally good against the Flyers the last couple of seasons and beat them 3-1 in the season series last year and tonight's starting goaltender, backup Scott Clemmenson, was 3-0 lifetime against the Flyers. However, the Panthers have not generally been good in the second game of back-to-back games. The two teams' previous games say a lot about the seasons they're having to date. On Thursday, the Flyers beat the Hurricanes 8-1. On Friday, the Panthers edged the Minnesota Wild 2-1 at home, but lost forward Steve Bernier to an injury caused by Wild defenseman Brent Burns' stick after the end of the game.
With Bernier out and Darcy Hordichuk in, coach Pete DeBoer changed the lines a little bit, bringing Chris Higgins back up to the third line with Marty Reasoner and Radek Dvorak and moving Cory Stillman to the fourth line with Hordichuk and Steven Reinprecht.
The game started high tempo from both teams. The first eleven minutes saw 15 shots, eight from the Panthers and seven from the Flyers. Then the Flyers smelled fatigue and upped the tempo even more. In the remainder of the period goalie Scott Clemmensen would get a lot more work than his counterpart, Sergei Bobrovsky. The Panthers would get three more shots and the Flyers eleven shots and two goals. A pass from Andreas Nodl to an an open Mike Richards led to the Flyers captain's first goal against the Panthers. Scott Hartnell would score the second of the game from right in front of Clemmensen a few minutes later.
The Panthers came into the second with some jump. They got their first power play of the night thanks to Chris Pronger but only got one shot off. It didn't last, as Booth went off for a hook right off a faceoff. McCabe took another penalty with 40 seconds left on Booth's penalty. Richards would get his second of the night on the 5-on-3 power play, while Claude Giroux would follow late in the McCabe penalty. Giroux would get his second of the night two minutes later. The Panthers didn't give up and less than a minute after Giroux's second goal Cory Stillman would score on a deflection off a Keaton Ellerby point shot to finally get the team on the board. They got some good chances late in the period but Bobrovsky turned them all aside, and they were still outshot 19 to 13 in the period.
The third period was all about the Panthers slowing the game down, playing better defense and not letting the blowout get any worse. They didn't take any more penalties, they outshot the Flyers 12-5 and Mike Santorelli scored his second of the season with just over two minutes left in the game.
The Good: The Panthers didn't give up when down by four going into the third and played possibly their best full period of the night in the third. Although obviously tired, they outshot the Flyers 12-5 and had the only goal in the period.
The Bad: The Panthers still are having trouble scoring goals and the power play was again punchless, with no score in two chances.
The Ugly: Bad penalties cost the Panthers two goals in the second period. Without those penalties, they're looking at a 3-1 game going into the third.