The Philadelphia Flyers dropped a hard-fought Eastern Conference battle, 4-2, to the Florida Panthers Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Ending their 4-game home-stand with a 2-1-1 record.
Without Ryan Ellis anchoring the top pair alongside Ivan Provorov, the Flyers fell in a hole against the Panthers. A hole that saw the Panthers pin the Flyers in their own zone for most of the first 10-minutes of the game.
Unlike Wednesday night, the Flyers wouldn’t be able to break out of it with a goal.
Instead, the Flyers got bit by the bad luck bug. A bug that seemed to hit referee Gord Dwyer as well. Who left not once. But, twice in the 1st period. Leaving just one referee, Michael Markovic.
With one referee on the ice, Michael Markovic would make a reaction call to give the Panthers a power-play. A power-play which would not have happened if both referee’s were on the ice.
On the power-play, it would take the Panthers just 5-seconds make things worse.
Florida would win the face-off. Work the puck to the point. Aaron Eklad would walk the line & drop a pass to Jonathan Huberdeau. Who would flutter one by Carter Hart high over the blocker.
Early in the 2nd period, the Flyers 4th line would go to work. Forechecking hard & causing three turnovers as the Panthers tried to exit their own zone. Leading to a Panthers penalty & a Flyers power-play.
On the power-play, the Flyers would tie the game.
Claude Giroux would continue his red hot start to the season. Firing one high over Sergei Bobrovsky’s shoulder for the goal.
Just over 5-minutes later, the Flyers other special teams unit would give them the lead.
Cam Atkinson would get his 4th goal of the season on the penalty kill. Atkinson would go forehand-backhand-thru the legs of Bobrovsky for the goal.
After taking the lead, it looked like the Flyers would take a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. However, a mental lapse on defense would result in a Panthers goal with 26-seconds left in the 2nd.
Travis Sanheim would whiff on his attempt at batting the puck away & Claude Giroux would lose Owen Tippett in-front. Who would use his skate (legally) to deflect the puck past Hart.
In need of a similar 3rd period to Wednesday night’s three-goal outburst en-route to a 6-3, the Flyers just couldn’t muster any momentum.
Having to kill off three 3rd period Panther power-plays, the Flyers just couldn’t generate any sustained pressure. When the Flyers did, it seemed they would head right back to the penalty kill.
With both teams pressing in the 3rd, a Flyers mistake on the power-play would lead to the game winner.
Keith Yandle would blindly fire a pass to an unmanned point. The Panthers would go up-ice on a 2v1. Which turned into a mini-breakaway for Jonathan Huberdeau. Hart would stop the first shot. But, Huberdeau would bank home the rebound in off of Hart.
Florida would an empty netter with 1:12 left.
Carter Hart stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced in the losing effort.
- Cam Atkinson has already made his presence known to the Philadelphia faithful so far this season. But, Atkinson’s speciality, the penalty kill, was on full display tonight. Getting his first short-handed goal in the 2nd period.
- The Flyers were without Ryan Ellis tonight. Who was a scratch due to a minor injury. This morning, head coach Alain Vigneault described the injury as something minor & labeled Ellis as “day-to-day.”
- With no goals tonight, Travis Konecny’s & Joel Farabee’s goal streak to start the season ended. A streak that ties the 5th longest to start the season in Flyers history. The longest since Claude Giroux in 2012.
- Rough night for rookie referee Michael Markovic. Who was tasked with refereeing an NHL game by himself due to Gord Dwyer leaving in the 1st period. Markovic, who is a 1st year referee in the NHL, lost control of the game quickly & let the game control him instead of controlling the game.
- New-comer Cam Atkinson extended his point streak to start the season. Atkinson has a point in all 4-games this season. Starting his year with 4-goals & 1-assist.
Result : Flyers 2 – Panthers 4 , LOSS
Record : 2 – 1 – 1
Next Game : Wednesday 10/27 vs Edmonton Oilers , Edmonton Canada , 10:00pm
Photo Credit : Len Redkoles – Getty Images