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game recap

Flyers chase Bobrovsky in win against Panthers

Score three goals on nine shots in first period; van Riemsdyk has three points for Philadelphia

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

Aube-Kubel scores on rebound

PHI@FLA: Aube-Kubel fires rebound into net

Nicolas Aube-Kubel skates toward the net and pokes in a juicy rebound for a 3-0 Flyers lead

  • 00:41 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Carter Hart made 26 saves in his first road win in more than three months when the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Florida Panthers 6-2 at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Hart had lost seven consecutive decisions on the road since a 3-2 shootout victory against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 10.

"I didn't know that," he said. "I prepare the same. There's no difference from playing at home than playing on the road because it's the same puck, it's the same ice surface, it's the same boards. It's all the same. You've just got to prepare the same no matter where you're at."


[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Panthers highlights]


James van Riemsdyk had a goal and two assists for the Flyers (32-19-7), who defeated the Panthers for the second time in four nights and are 5-2-0 in their past seven games.

Philadelphia's third and fourth lines combined for four goals.

"It seems like all lines have been contributing," van Riemsdyk said. "That's what you need. It makes it really tough to play against when you have contributions from everyone out there. That's what we've been getting recently."

Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after the first period after allowing three goals on nine shots. He's 0-4-1 in his past five starts.

Video: PHI@FLA: van Riemsdyk gives Flyers early lead

Florida (30-21-6) is 2-5-1 since going into the All-Star break on a six-game winning streak.

"We just talked in the locker room," captain Aleksander Barkov said of a players-only meeting. "We've got to play harder, and obviously we want to start in the first period. We've got to look ourselves in the mirror and start playing a better game. We can't afford to lose anymore. We can't afford to play like that anymore. We've got to play a lot better."

Van Riemsdyk gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 4:24 into the game before Tyler Pitlick and Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored 55 seconds apart late in the first.

Pitlick beat Bobrovsky short side with a sharp-angled wrist shot to make it 2-0 at 17:37 before Aube-Kubel scored on a rebound at 18:32 to give Philadelphia a 3-0 lead.

"You've got to find ways to overcome whatever happens," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "We need more consistency, giving up a goal or two here with a poor start. The first wasn't that bad, the second wasn't good. We didn't have the puck much tonight. It wasn't enough and we weren't protecting the puck enough. In the third, there was some development, but it wasn't enough and not early enough."

Bobrovsky was replaced by Sam Montembeault, who made 16 saves.

Scott Laughton made it 4-0 at 18:58 of the second period with a wrist shot after getting a pass from van Riemsdyk from behind the net.

Video: PHI@FLA: Laughton scores off feed from van Riemsdyk

Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 20th goal of the season 33 seconds into the third to make it 4-1.

Barkov got Florida within 4-2 at 4:56 with his 152nd NHL goal, tying Pavel Bure for third in Panthers history behind Scott Mellanby (157) and Olli Jokinen (188).

Sean Couturier made it 5-2 at 14:52 before Robert Hagg scored a power-play goal with 28 seconds left for the 6-2 final.

"I figured with that skill level, [the Panthers] would have a strong push, and they did," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We made a mistake on the first goal. They got a bounce on the second goal. As players and a team, you've just got to play. And that's what we did. They kept playing, kept making better plays from that moment on, and they would be pressing, [Couturier] caught them there and was able to score that big goal."

The Flyers defeated the Panthers 4-1 in Philadelphia on Monday before losing 5-3 at the New York Islanders on Tuesday, when Florida defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3.


They said it

"We forget a lot of times he's 21 years old and just closing in on 50 games. He's learning, he's growing, he's getting better, and that's what we need." -- Flyers coach Alain Vigneault on goalie Carter Hart

"It's not good enough right now. We've got the guys in here to turn it around, but it's going to take a lot more from every guy. We'll keep working and try to turn this thing around quickly." -- Panthers forward Brett Connolly


Need to know

Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim sustained a lower-body injury in the second period and left the game after an 11-second shift early in the third. ... Panthers forward Noel Acciari left the game at 6:04 of the second period with an upper-body injury. Quenneville said Acciari is day to day. ... Flyers defenseman Justin Braun tied his NHL career high with three assists (Jan. 9, 2016, with the San Jose Sharks against the Toronto Maple Leafs).


What's next

Flyers: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SUN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; FS-F, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Van Riemsdyk leads Flyers past Panthers

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