Flyers Comeback Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to Panthers
For the third time in as many games, the Philadelphia Flyers found themselves fighting their way out of a 2-0 deficit against their opponents.
While the team was able to battle back and secure points in their weekend matchups against the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, the Orange and Black weren’t as lucky tonight against the Florida Panthers. Despite outshooting the Cats 36-13 through regulation, the Flyers only managed to beat netminder Scott Clemmensen once in Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss.
Philadelphia’s ailing powerplay proved to be the difference maker yet again, as the team went a paltry 0-4 on the man-advantage, including 42 seconds of 5-on-3 powerplay time. All four of the Flyers powerplay opportunities came in the first period when the club absolutely dominated the Panthers in the offensive zone, but were ultimately unable to find the back of the net.
“We just couldn't score 5-on-4 and we had one power play of 5-on-3. We had a lot of time zone,” Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr told reporters. “I thought we played pretty well in the first period, drawing penalties. We just couldn't score on it. They got the bounce.”
After surviving the early onslaught of pressure by the Flyers, Florida took a 1-0 lead when Stephen Weiss snuck into the slot and fired a wrist shot past Ilya Bryzgalov at 13:41 of the first stanza.
“It's kind of frustrating when you have so many chances and you go to the dressing room and they have the 1-0 lead,” Jagr affirmed.
Six minutes into the second period, the Panthers’ special teams stretched the team’s lead to 2-0 on Sean Bergenheim’s 17th goal of the season. An unfortunate carom off of the glass behind the Flyers’ net allowed the Finnish forward to beat Bryzgalov before he was able to secure the near side post and deny Bergenheim the scoring chance.
Peter Laviolette decided to utilize his 30-second timeout to settle his troops after Florida’s powerplay tally, a move which seemed to pay off when rookie Eric Wellwood brought the Flyers to within one thanks to a fluke deflection off of a defensemen’s skate.
While this game had all the makings of another dramatic Flyers comeback, Philadelphia’s luck finally seemed to run out at the Wells Fargo Center ice tonight.
Over-passing and sloppy play in all three zones plagued the Flyers throughout the third period, and even pulling Bryzgalov in place of an extra attacker proved futile in the final minute of regulation, as the Flyers fell to the Southeast Division leading Panthers.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was clearly frustrated with the outcome of Tuesday’s game, but made it clear that there were several bright spots in the Flyers’ effort. Special teams, however, was not something Laviolette was especially proud of.
“The message, especially with the power play, is to bring the puck to the net,” Laviolette said. “I do think…on the power play maybe we are looking to make too many plays or too many passes.”
“Sometimes the simplicity of what you do on the power play is the best opportunity that you might get, which is just firing it there. We have guys that know what they are doing in front of the net.”
The Flyers host the eighth-seeded Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday at 7:00 pm.
Kimmo Timonen’s assist on Eric Wellwood’s goal was the 399th of his NHL career… Scott Clemmensen improved to 4-1-1 against the Flyers overall… Claude Giroux was a team-best 17-20 on faceoffs… Philadelphia’s 13 shots on goal was a season low… Tonight’s win extended the Panthers’ season-best winning streak to five games.