The Philadelphia Flyers battled gamely but went down to a 2-1 overtime road loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday evening in Sunrise. The Flyers clung to a 1-0 lead for two plus periods but couldn't add to it or nurse the skinny lead until the end.
Joel Farabee (5th goal of the season) got the Flyers on the board with the only goal of the first period. After a scoreless second period, Sam Bennett (PPG, 7th) tied the game just under four minutes into the third period. Aaron Ekblad (6th) scored the winning goal in overtime.
Martin Jones was peppered with 46 shots over the course of the game, stealing the Flyers a point as he stopped 44. Sergei Bobrovsky got the win for Florida with 32 saves on 33 shots.
In overtime, both teams had at least one chance to win the game, but Florida by far had most of the possession. Cam Atkinson wasn't able to finish a one-on-one chance with Bobrovsky, hitting the post on the Flyers lone chance. Jones held the Panthers at bay for as long as he could. Finally, with Joel Farabee playing without a stick. Jonathan Huberdeau had an open passing lane to Ekblad in the slot, and the Florida defenseman ended the game at 2:39. Bennett got the secondary assist. OT shots were 7-0 in the Panthers' favor.
1) With Derick Brassard unavailable due to a lower-body injury and the Flyers mired in a deep offensive slump (1.67 GPG over the previous 12 games) and coming off a couple rough defensive performances as well, the team had four different forward line combinations and three different defense pairs than Tuesday's starting lineup:
28 Claude Giroux - 14 Sean Couturier - 11 Travis Konecny
86 Joel Farabee - 48 Morgan Frost - 89 Cam Atkinson
25 James van Riemsdyk - 21 Scott Laughton - 17 Zack MacEwen
23 Oskar Lindblom - 44 Nate Thompson - 71 Max Willman.
9 Ivan Provorov - 70 Rasmus Ristolainen
24 Nick Seeler - 6 Travis Sanheim
3 Keith Yandle - 61 Justin Braun
2) The Panthers dominated the game's first four or five shifts. A transition goal by the Flyers at 7:33 of the opening stanza changed the momentum after a big save by Jones. Konecny hit Farabee with a stretch pass, and Farabee beat Bobrovsky through the five-hole for a 1-0 Flyers lead. Provorov got the secondary assist.
Over most of the period thereafter, the Flyers had the better of the play. Florida benefited from a seemingly erroneously offside call that prevented a breakaway opportunity for Frost. Philadelphia had the first period's lone power play, showing good puck movement and generating a couple of looks. In the waning seconds of the period, Jones made an excellent save on Carter Verhaeghe to protect the 1-0 lead. First period shots ended up 15-14 in Florida's favor.
Both teams had some issues with turnovers in the first period: 7 charged giveaways to the Flyers,4 for Florida. The Flyers' were credited with 13 hits to six for Florida, with three for Couturier leading both teams. Ristolainen blocked three shot attempts.
3) Jones made a 10-bell save on Sam Reinhart in the second period to keep him from tying the game at 1-1. The frame settled down for the most part into a tighter-checking frame. Florida made a push in the latter stages. Cam Atkinson had a scoring near the final minute. Second period shots were 10-9 Florida although Florida had the pronounced territorial edge.
4) The Flyers had a second power play chance midway through regulation on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Frank Vatrano. As with the first power play, Philadelphia generated good early pressure but not much over the latter part. The second unit struggled with entries.
5) Jones had little chance as Bennett scored point point on the power play at 3:59 of the third period. Anthony Duclair and Aaron Ekblad had the assists. Jones made a subsequent spectacular save on Verhaeghe to keep the score tied. The Flyers stepped up on a late penalty kill of an Ivan Provorov cross-checking minor. The game went to OT. Third period shots were 13-10 Florida.