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game recap

Panthers hold off Flyers, get fourth win in row

Reimer makes 29 saves, Huberdeau scores in third straight game for Florida

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Derek MacKenzie scored his first goal of the season to help the Florida Panthers defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the third straight game, Jared McCann had a goal, and Nick Bjugstad had two assists for the Panthers (16-16-5), who extended their season-high winning streak to four games.

"We got to continue to fight and claw and get back in this thing so we can start putting teams behind us," MacKenzie said.

 

[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Panthers highlights]

 

James Reimer, making his 10th consecutive start since Roberto Luongo sustained a lower-body injury Dec. 4, made 29 saves and came within 7:32 of his second consecutive shutout. Reimer had not allowed a goal in 141:53 before Scott Laughton scored for the Flyers.

Video: PHI@FLA: Reimer stands tall to deny Flyers

Sean Couturier scored a goal, and Brian Elliott made 24 saves in his 12th consecutive start for the Flyers (15-14-8), who have lost three games in a row (0-2-1) and four of five (1-3-1).

"We didn't play very well," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "We shot ourselves in the foot a lot and that's frustrating especially where we are in the standings. If we want to catch up to teams, games like this can't happen."

McCann put Florida ahead 1-0 at 6:43 of the first period. After skating in alone against three defenders, he beat Elliott with a wrist shot from the high slot.

MacKenzie made it 2-0 at 9:19 of the second period with a shorthanded goal. Colton Sceviour won the race for a loose puck in the Philadelphia zone and fed a centering pass to MacKenzie, who redirected it past Elliott for his first goal since April 9 in Florida's final game of the 2016-17 season.

"There's no secret he's been hunting that down for a while," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "He's been playing some great hockey. His line has been good. It's nice to see our captain get rewarded. He comes to work every day hard."

Huberdeau made it 3-0 at 13:52 when he took a pass from Bjugstad in the right face-off circle, made a quick pivot, and beat Elliott with a wrist shot just inside the crossbar and left post. He has scored four times during the three-game goal streak.

Video: PHI@FLA: Huberdeau beats Elliott to extend lead

"It's just going in right now," Huberdeau said. "Our line, we're playing better. It's much more fun when we're in the offensive zone than we're defending. That's good. We've just got to keep shooting the puck on net and get rewarded."

Laughton scored to cut the Panthers lead to 3-1 at 12:28 of the third period. He beat Reimer with a wrist shot from the slot on an odd-man rush. Couturier made it 3-2 when he tipped a Shayne Gostisbehere slap shot at 17:58.

"I think our urgency was a little off coming into this one," Elliott said. "They came at us hard and we really didn't match it, until the last 10 minutes of the game, and that can't happen."

 

Goal of the game

MacKenzie's goal at 9:19 of the second period.

Video: PHI@FLA: MacKenzie buries Sceviour's feed for SHG

 

Save of the game

Reimer stopping Jakub Voracek on a breakaway 20 seconds into the third period.

Video: PHI@FLA: Reimer kicks away Voracek's backhander

 

Highlight of the game

McCann's goal at 6:43 of the first period.

Video: PHI@FLA: McCann beats Elliott to open the scoring

 

They said it

"We didn't quite play our game all the way through. We weren't there tonight and we didn't deserve to win." -- Flyers forward Michael Raffl

"It's nice to get back to .500, but we've got a lot of work ahead of us. We're just looking to stay in striking distance and keep trying to climb over teams in the standings. That's our main focus. It's four (in a row), be happy about it now, but we want to make it five, we want to keep it rolling." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner

 

Need to know

Philadelphia is 0-10-2 over the past four seasons in road games after the NHL Christmas break. … MacKenzie won all seven of his faceoffs. … Huberdeau, Panthers center Aleksander Barkov and Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov led all skaters with six shots on goal apiece. … Provorov had a game-high five blocked shots.

 

What's next

Flyers: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SUN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, TVA Sports, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced attack powers Panthers past Flyers, 3-2

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