One awkward carom off the glass was the difference in tonight’s game, as the Flyers lost to the visiting Florida Panthers 2-1. Sean Bergenheim capitalized on a lucky bounce for the Panthers to pot his second game-winning goal of the season, as Philly posted a 36-13 shot advantage in the loss.
“I felt like we played the way we wanted,” said Jaromir Jagr after the loss. “We jumped on them, create chances, cycle game, you know.It was just one of those games you can’t score and all of the sudden it’s 2-1.”
In the middle stanza, the Panthers extended their lead to two goals thanks to the bounce off the glass during a power play. A Brian Campbell wrap around the glass in the Flyers’ zone hit a stanchion behind Ilya Bryzgalov’s net and resulted in a loose puck just outside of the crease. With Bryz faced towards the wrong way, Bergenheim was able to pounce on the biscuit and shoot it short side before the Flyers’ goalie could move over in time to deny the chance.
Although he made 35 saves, Scott Clemmensen wasn’t asked to make many difficult saves in the win. Stopping almost every shot he saw tonight, Clemmensen let the Panthers escape with two points after he held off a late third period surge from Philly.
Eric Wellwood had an extremely good game for the Flyers, as he potted the team’s only goal and posted a game-high five shots on net. Not only did Philly’s forward fly all over the ice, he was the main force in the team’s third period surge that fell just short of another comeback.
As for the start of the game, Florida came out of the first 20 minutes with a one-goal advantage despite the fact Philly left the first period with a 11-4 shot advantage and experienced four power-play chances while the Panthers didn’t have one.
Just over 13 minutes into the game, Dmitry Kulikov passed the puck from his own defensive zone to Stephen Weiss, who was in between the red line and the Flyers’ blue line. Weiss then skated from the boards to the middle of the circles before he released a wrister that beat Bryzgalov’s blocker for his 18th goal of the season.
Similar to how they failed to convert on two power-play chances before Weiss’ goal, the Flyers failed to score on two power-play chances after Weiss’ goal in the final minutes of the period. This included a 5-on-3 for 42 seconds that Philly couldn’t cash in on, as Bergenheim held Jagr before Ed Jovanovski tripped Scott Hartnell in the offensive zone.
After Bergenheim’s goal put Florida up two in the second period, Wellwood received a fortunate bounce of his own 1:31 later. Following Peter Laviolette’s timeout, the Flyers came out buzzing before a Wellwood shot from along the goal line hit the inside of Jovanovski’s skate and through Clemmensen’s five-hole for his fourth goal of in 2011-2012.
Although they continued to pepper Clemmensen with scoring chances throughout the remainder of the second period, the Flyers couldn’t tie the game at two before the start of the third period. With the shot count of 25-10 in their favor, it was obvious the Flyers were dominating play, but couldn’t find ways to beat Clemmensen.
The third period was much of the same for the Flyers, as they dominated the shot count 12-3, but couldn’t muster a tally to tie the game. Although they created several scoring chances in the final two minutes of the contest, Philly let the Cats escape with a one-goal game win.
The Orange and Black hope their luck is better on Thursday night when they host the Washington Capitals for the clubs’ final meeting of 2011-2012.
Notes: Tonight’s loss was the Flyers’ first loss at home since their 6-4 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 18th snapping a five-game winning streak at the Wells Fargo Center…The Flyers allowed 13 shots against tonight, the fewest shots they have allowed in any game this season…With 11 saves in the loss, Bryzgalov made 11 saves or less in a loss for a third time this season. In addition to his 11 saves against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 27th, Bryzgalov only made six saves in the Flyers’ 9-8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on October 27th…Claude Giroux won 17 of his 20 faceoffs tonight and had a team-high six hits…Of his four goals this season (and in his career), Wellwood has scored two of them against the Panthers. His first was the fifth goal for Philly in their 5-0 victory on March 8th…This is the third straight game the Flyers have allowed the game’s first goal. They are 1-1-1 in those games… Weiss’ goal in the first period extended his point streak to three games. He has two goals and two assists in that span…Kulikov’s assist on Weiss’ first period goal was his 21st of the season, which set his career-high for assists in a season…Campbell’s two assists gives hime 45 on the season, which ties him for his career-high for assists in a season, as the Panthers’ defenseman accomplished the feat in the 2008-2009 season…The Flyers dropped to 3-1-0 against the Panthers and to 10-6-2 against the Southeast Division this season (FLA 3-1-0, WSH 2-1-0, WPG 1-2-1, CAR 3-1-0, TBL 1-1-1)…The Flyers dropped to 42-23-8 plus tonight. They were 44-19-10 after 73 games last season.