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5 Takeaways: Panthers Strong at Both Ends in Win Over Flyers

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

11/19/19 Post Game Interviews

11/19/19 Post Game Interviews

Interviews with Head Coach Joel Quenneville, forwards Aleksander Barkov and Brett Connolly and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

  • 01:40 •

SUNRISE, Fla. - The phrase "good score" was used several times by Panthers players following Florida's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at BB&T Center on Tuesday night.

Entering the matchup with one of the top offenses in the league, the team already knows it can score goals. But in producing one of their best defensive efforts of the season versus the Flyers, they not only gained two points in the standings, but also confidence in their all-around game.

"We've been good in the offensive zone," Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. "We know we have a lot of talent in the offensive zone on this team. All we needed to do was clean up a little in the defensive zone. That's what we did [tonight]. It was a good score."

After Travis Sanheim buried a booming slap shot to put the Flyers up 1-0 at 6:26 of the first period, the Panthers struck back soon after with goals of their own from Colton Sceviour and Brett Connolly at 10:38 and 12:30, respectively, to carry a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

In the second period, Florida's top line took over.

At 6:46, Barkov blasted home a juicy rebound from the right circle to make it 3-1. Then just a few minutes later, the captain set up Jonathan Huberdeau for another goal from the right circle that pushed the lead to 4-1 at 10:23. Evgenii Dadonov earned an assist on both of the goals.

Following Huberdeau's goal, the Flyers sent Brian Elliott into the game in relief of Carter Hart, who stopped 14 of 18 shots. Finishing out the game, Elliott stopped all seven shots he faced.

"We scored some great goals in the second period," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said.

With time winding down in the middle frame, Morgan Frost managed to beat Sergei Bobrovsky on the doorstep to notch his first NHL goal and trim Philadelphia's deficit down to 4-2 at 14:20.

But in the third period, Bobrovsky absolutely shut the door on the Flyers, stopping all 14 shots that came his way over the final 20 minutes of regulation. Overall, the 31-year-old veteran made 35 saves -- including seven from high-danger areas -- to improve to a solid 7-4-4 on the season.

At 17:28 of the final frame, Mike Hoffman scored a long empty-netter to lock in the 5-2 win.

Video: PHI@FLA: Hoffman scores empty-net goal

"It was a good game, good score," Bobrovsky said. "I thought the guys did a great job in the third period - lots of blocked shots and they allowed me to see the puck. I thought everybody was committed to defense in the third period. It was fun to be part of this win."

Winning four out of their last five games, the Panthers now sit at 11-5-5 and have taken over second place in the Atlantic Division -- four points behind the Boston Bruins for the top spot.

"Consistently, we're in every game," Quenneville said. "I think we're ready to play. We're trying to play the right way game in, game out. The crowds have been good. It's been fun."

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday's win in Sunrise…

1. GOALTON SCEVIOUR

After coming close to scoring a few minutes earlier, Sceviour cashed in the second time around.

Taking a pass from Mike Matheson after the smooth-skating defenseman skillfully worked the puck around the zone, Sceviour ripped a wrist shot from just below the blue line that managed to find its way through a sea of traffic and into the net to make it 1-1 at 10:38 of the first period.

Video: PHI@FLA: Sceviour scores from the point

A staple of Florida's fourth line this season, Sceviour has now registered two goals and three assists in 21 games. In addition to his work on offense, the 30-year-old veteran winger is also a major contributor on the team's penalty kill, where he skated 2:24 against the Flyers tonight.

"They had some good shifts tonight," Quenneville said of the fourth line. "Along the wall, the pucks were going forward with them in the scrum areas. They had some faceoffs in our end in the third that were important to sustain their top line. I think it was one of those nights where they scored a big goal for us as well. That's kind of the bonus point."

2.. CONNOLLY OFF THE CAGE

Connolly said he called backboard on this shot.

After Vincent Trocheck knocked the puck loose along the half boards, Connolly scooped it up and skated just below the goal line before sending a sharp-angle shot on net that bounced off Hart's mask and into the twine to give the Panthers a 2-1 advantage at 12:30 of the first period.

Video: PHI@FLA: Connolly banks puck in off Hart's mask

"I just tried to bank it in off him," Connolly said of the unusual goal. "He was ahead of the goal line, and it just worked out. We'll take it."

Extending his point streak to three games, Connolly has two goals and two assists in that span. With a goal and an assist tonight, he now ranks tied for third on the Panthers in goals (8) and tied for fifth in points (15).

"We played well enough to win, for sure," Connolly said of the victory. "We took care of business at home here a little bit. We're getting better every day like we've talked about."

3. THE CAPTAIN CASHES IN

The goals are starting to come in bunches for Barkov.

Jumping on a rebound following an attempt from Dadonov -- who freed up space on the ensuing shot by absorbing a pair of defenders in the slot - Barkov skated unimpeded into the right circle before roofing a shot over Hart's blocker to extend the lead to 3-1 at 6:46 of the second period. Since Oct. 30, Barkov is tied for fifth in the league with seven goals.

Video: PHI@FLA: Barkov fires rebound over Hart

Notching a goal and an assist tonight, Barkov has now posted multi-point performances in 10 of 21 games this season. Sitting second on the Panthers in scoring with 27 points, the 24-year-old center also ranks fourth in the league in assists (20). Over his last 13 games, he has 21 points.

"We battle for each other on the ice," said Barkov, who also went 9-for-14 (69 percent) in the faceoff circle against the Flyers. "We're just having fun because we know everyone is going to work hard for each other. That's how we need to play."

4. Huby Stays Hot

The top line worked its magic and showed off some nifty passing on this goal.

After Dadonov gathered the puck in the offensive zone, he quickly backhanded it along the end boards to Barkov, who then sent it toward Huberdeau, who wired a blistering wrist shot from the right circle over Hart's left shoulder to extend Florida's lead to 4-1 at 10:23 of the second period.

Video: PHI@FLA: Huberdeau scores high short side on Hart

Leading the Panthers in scoring with 28 points, Huberdeau is now also tied with Dadonov for the team-lead in goals (10). The 26-year-old winger has been incredibly consistent on the offensive side of the puck all season long, finding his way onto the scoresheet in 17 of 21 games thus far.

Over his last 13 games, Huberdeau has racked up seven goals and 13 assists.

5. PUSHING THEM TO THE OUTSIDE

It's important to remember that not all shots are created equal.

Although the Flyers let loose 37 shots on goal tonight, the Panthers did a great job of making sure that most of those chances were coming from a good distance out. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, only 10 of Philadelphia's shot attempts came from high-danger areas.

Additionally, Philadelphia only mustered two shots on goal over its two power plays.

"We played a solid game," Barkov said of the team's overall defensive effort. "We let them shoot from outside and cleared the rebounds, and Bob was there too. He was huge for us in the net. We just need to keep going the same way."

Like Barkov, Quenneville also pointed to Bobrovsky as the backbone behind the blue line.

"I thought Bob was quick on a lot of plays around the net," Quenneville said. "We had a couple short-side plays that could have been dangerous against us. He made a couple of big, big saves."

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