After dropping their last three games, the Florida Panthers were coming into Philadelphia looking to snap their losing skid.
The Florida Panthers got off to a strong start, hemming the Flyers in their end for a good period of time. With Florida’s relentless pressure, the Flyers were just unable to exit their zone, coughing up a few turnovers in result.
Florida’s pressure wouldn’t go unnoticed as they scored five minutes into the period, thanks to MacKenzie Weegar. After a rebound popped out, Weegar jumped on and it slapped a shot home to give the Cats an early lead.
The Panthers had a chance to go two goals up after Sean Couturier tripped up Evgenii Dadonov by the boards, but unfortunately, the Flyers’ PK unit held the Panthers to just one shot while on the man advantage.
Moments later, while stuck in their hand, the Panthers were faced with an unfortunate situation after Aleksander Barkov was forced to give his stick to one of his teammates after their stick initially broke after blocking a shot. While playing pretty much a man down, the Flyers retained possession and worked it over to Ivan Provorov, who sniped a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky to level the game at one aside.
The Flyers were rewarded with a power play of their own after Jayce Hawryluk tripped Claude Giroux. But like the Flyers’ PK unit, the Panthers prevailed and managed to kill off Hawryluk’s penalty to remain tied at one.
After twenty minutes of good play, both teams would head down to the dressing room tied at one. Despite that one shift that led to the goal and the penalty kill, the Panthers were in the driver’s seat for the majority of the first period.
In the second, the momentum shifted the other way as the Flyers took control of the game. Off a bad pinch, Jakub Voracek beat Aaron Ekblad to the puck and raced down towards goal feeding James van Riemsdyk with a pass. JVR buried the pass from his backhand, giving the home side their first lead of the night.
Later, in attempts of trying to tie the game, Jonathan Huberdeau sent Barkov a beautiful cross-crease pass, which sent Carter Hart down and out of position, but unfortunately, Barkov fired high of the goal.
Continuing to pressure, the Panthers returned to the power play for the second time of the night after Robert Hagg hooked Noel Acciari. Chances were limited because of the Flyers’ stingy PK unit, but Mike Hoffman was given the best chance on the power play after he came down one-on-one with Carter Hart but wired a shot wide. A few seconds later, with the puck on his stick again, Hoffman proceeded to fire a shot off the post.
Philadelphia returned to the man advantage for the second time, as well, like their opponents. But in exactly the same fashion as their own penalty kill unit, the Panthers kill Acciari’s penalty. The Cats came close to scoring shorthanded after Barkov and a Flyer were tangled up on the ice, with the puck being left in sight for Vatrano to take. Unfortunately, his one-on-one chance with Hart was missed.
Just before the second frame came to a close, the Flyers found their third of the night through Travis Sanheim – who buried his own rebound off a late rush towards the goal.
In the third, the Panthers continued to push in search of a goal but the Flyers did a good job of limiting their chances in front of Hart’s net.
On the other hand, the Panthers racked their power-play opportunities up to five by the end of the third but failed to score on each one of them, including their last when they pulled Bobrovsky for the extra attacker.
The Flyers also spent some time on the man advantage, helping them eat the clock in result. They didn’t score on any of their attempts but they certainly didn’t allow Florida with much of an opportunity to push down the ice – especially while playing a man down.
In what appeared to be the goal that the Panthers were searching for, it ended up turning into a Philadelphia empty-netter on the other side as Huberdeau couldn’t bury his chance by the near post, with Claude Giroux’s immediate clearance ending up in Florida’s cage.
The Panthers would go on to drop their fourth straight, losing to the Flyers by a score of 4-1. Overall, apart from the first period and the final two minutes of regulation, the Panthers showed little determination in wanting to win this game. The bleeding that’s occurred over the last four games is something that’s going to need to stop, and fast, if Florida is going to get back into a playoff position.
Your Panthers are back in action tomorrow @ 7 P.M. against the New Jersey Devils, with hopes of finding their goal touch again.