The Florida Panthers lost starting goaltender Tim Thomas to injury in the first period of a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Thomas came up lame following the Flyers second goal at 7:31 in the first. The injury appeared to occur when Thomas came out to stop a slap shot. The shot missed the net and took a wild bounce off the boards right to Braydon Coburn. With Thomas slow to get up, Coburn rifled the puck into the back of the Panther net to put the Flyers ahead 2-0.
Wonky bounces off the boards were the nemesis of the Panthers in the first period. Philadelphia scored their first goal after the puck ricocheted off the boards right to Brayden Schenn in front of the Panther net.
Early reports are, Tim Thomas has a slight groin pull and he is not expected to miss too much time. Scott Clemmensen, who has been playing with the San Antonio Rampage will join the Panthers Thursday in Tampa.
Jacob Markstrom looked strong coming in for the injured Thomas, stopping all 25 shots he faced. The Panthers had numerous chances throughout the game but Flyers goaltender Steve Mason was up to the challenge stopping 33 of the 34 shots Florida fired his way.
Brad Boyes scored the only goal for the Panthers. With just six seconds left in the second period, Aleksander Barkov gathered a loose puck in front of the Flyers net and dished to Boyes who fired it into the empty net, cutting the Flyers lead in half. Brian Campbell was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Panthers third period comeback attempt was dampened by a number of penalties that forced the team to play man-down for most of the second half of the final stanza. With 9:59 left in the third, Erik Gudbranson received a five minute boarding penalty for a hit on Scotty Hartnell. Gudbranson also received a ten minute game misconduct for the hit.
Shortly after the Panthers killed off Gudbranson’s penalty, Ryan Whitney was whistled for hi-sticking. The two minute Whitney penalty came with 2:37 left in the game leaving the Panthers with little time to score the game tying goal.
The Panthers finish their road trip on Thursday when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Tampa game is the first back-to-back for the Panthers as they have their home-opener Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.