For the second time in eight days, a pair of goals from Jeff Carter gave the Flyers the boost they needed to win as a trip to Florida resulted in a 3-2 win over the Panthers. Carter’s pair within an eleven minute span in the second period along with a first period goal from Scott Hartnell gave the Flyers a win after a terrible loss on Saturday. The Flyers’ win improves their record to 43-19-7.
The Flyers didn’t start the game as they planned as the Panthers had a very strong first shift. However, the Flyers did produce the game’s first goal.
Keeping the puck in the zone after an offensive chance, Matt Carle cycled the puck down to Ville Leino in the corner. Backhanding it to the slot, Leino found Mike Richards just outside the crease to the right of Tomas Vokoun. Ill-advised, Vokoun dropped to his back and threw his arms out in an attempt to block a possible Richards’ shot. Showing plenty of patience, Richards waited for Hartnell to show up in the slot for a wide open shot. Hartnell nailed the opportunity giving him his twentieth goal of the year and a 1-0 Flyers’ lead.
Naturally, given the way the Flyers have been playing lately, the lead didn’t last long. Within three minutes of Hartnell’s goal, a clear from Keaton Ellerby behind his own net led to Stephen Weiss gloving the puck at the Flyers’ blue line after Sergei Samsonov tipped the puck from the boards to open ice. After putting the puck on the ice, Weiss drove to the bottom of the circle to Brian Boucher’s right and ripped one top corner glove side. A defeated Boucher posed while looking back at the net as Weiss had just deposited his nineteenth on the year making it a 1-1 game.
Killing off a James van Riemsdyk hooking call, the Flyers went on a powerplay of their own. In fact, the Flyers had a 5-on-3 advantage for fifty-six seconds as Mike Weaver went to the box for high-sticking after Ryan Carter had been sitting in the sin bin for elbowing. Unfortunately, similar to the Panthers, they were unable to produce a goal with the powerplay opportunity.
With the score remaining level after the exchanging of powerplay chances, the Panthers gained their first lead of the game. Finding its way through a maze of bodies, Dmitry Kulikov slapped home a rocket from the point to give Florida a 2-1 lead with one minute and forty-nine seconds left in the first.
As his team moved through the beginning of the second period with little to no life, Daniel Carcillo attempted to turn things around by engaging in a fight with Mike Duco. Carcillo’s decision to fight proved to be a smart one.
Fifty-seven seconds after the fight, Jeff Carter saw one of his shots trickle past the goal-line to tie the game at two. Claude Giroux was able to force Ryan Carter to turn the puck over in the Panthers’ defensive zone. Gaining control of the puck, Jeff Carter looped around from the slot to the circle to Vokoun’s left and ripped a shot high glove side. Hitting Vokoun’s glove, Carter watched his shot pop up in the air and roll over the goal-line. Carter’s thiry-first tied the game as the Flyers were still surging.
Thirty-three seconds after the game-tying goal, Michal Repik went to the box for cross-checking. Unforunately, a JVR slash ended Philly’s third powerplay opportunity fifty seconds later. The Panthers didn’t capitalize on their shortened man advantage and the game remained tied at two.
Later in the period, Peter Laviolette called a timeout as his team had just iced the puck. Coming out of the timeout, Danny Briere jumped on a faceoff win that resulted on the Panthers’ side of the dot. Bolting past the defenders, Briere started a 2-on-1 with Carter. Moving the puck to his backhand, Briere flipped the puck over to Carter who put it home for his second of the period and a 3-2 Flyers’ lead.
As Saturday’s result will indicate, the Flyers have been poor in the final twenty minutes of regulation in their past few games. The period was moving along smoothly until JVR went to the sin bin for a high-stick worthy of a double minor. A play that most likely results in a goal for the opposition lately, the Flyers held off the pressuring Panthers.
The Flyers caught a break as Kulikov went to the box for hooking fifty-two seconds after JVR was sent off. As Kulikov’s penalty ended, Florida once again didn’t register a power-play goal letting the Flyers hold onto their 3-2 lead with just over seven minutes left in regulation.
Despite being dominated by Florida’s forecheck for the remaining time in regulation, Philly held on for a 3-2 victory.
It was important for the Flyers to come out and have a strong third period after Saturday’s collapse. A loss similar to Saturday’s can put a team, especially a team who just lost their emotional leader, in a funk resulting in a losing streak. However, Philly answered the call tonight and held onto their one-goal lead ultimately winning after enduring a scoreless third period.
Carcillo’s fight in the second period allowed the Flyers to tie the game and essentially win it. The Flyers are now 32-8-4 with Carcillo in the lineup including their win in Florida tonight. He doesn’t provide many goals or scoring chances, but Carcillo’s ability to persistently forecheck and backcheck along with motivating his teammates when needed must have some kind of positive effect. Carcillo has four goals and two assists while posting a plus/minus rating of -10 this season.
Notes: Tonight was Jeff Carter’s sixth two-goal game; his last one was last on 3/8 against Edmonton. Brian Boucher is now 6-0-2 in his last 8 decisions; Bobrovsky is 3-3-2 in his last 8 decisions. The Flyers are now 2-0-1 since Pronger’s absence from the lineup started after the Oilers game last Tuesday. Tonight was the first time the Flyers didn’t score a powerplay goal in a game since their 7-0 loss to the Rangers on 3/6. The Panthers one-goal loss is their 44th one-goal game of the year; the Panthers lead the league in that category. The Flyers went 3-1-0 against the Panthers during the 2010-2011 season and are now 10-5-2 against the Southeast division (WSH 2-0-1, TBL 1-3-0, CAR 3-1-0, ATL 1-0-1, FLA 3-1-0).