Tuesday night's game between the Flyers and Florida Panthers seemed in many ways the opposite of Sunday's battle against the Boston Bruins. There wasn't much enduring momentum, with play choppy and not particularly favoring either side for very long. Both games went to OT, followed by the shootout. The outcomes were undeniably different.
Ilya Bryzgalov was unable to stop a single attempt. Sergei Bobrovsky stoned them all (and celebrated with an uncharacteristic dance reminiscent of Brian Boucher's can-can after the Flyers backed into the playoffs in 2010—video below). Bob was the story in this one, getting back in the win column after taking the rare loss against the Islanders in his last start.
Notes and video highlights below.
The Panthers opened the scoring on an early first period power play, a sequence that could hardly be pinned on Bob. The netminder made a pair of huge saves, but couldn't stop the third attempt, popped home by Mikael Samuelsson.
Brayden Schenn knotted it halfway through the period with one of those "just get the puck on net" philosophy provers. His shot was stopped by Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen, but sent skyward only to fall down Clemmensen's back and into the net.
Getting to the net was the goal of the Flyers' attack in this one, and Jake Voracek made it 2-1 with a nice tip off a Tom Sestito pass through a small window between Clemmensen's outstretched pad and the post.
A lapse in that mentality partially led to the Panthers' tying goal though. At 15:40 of the second period, Voracek had the puck in the Florida zone and went against the flow of traffic, passing backward to look for a trailer. The pass went into Panther sticks though, and the play was quickly turned into an odd-man rush the other way.
Former Flyer Kris Versteeg carried the puck up ice but ran out of room to make his move, then spun the puck back to the trailing Tomas Fleischmann, who made a quick turn and put it into the open net.
After a scoreless third period, there was some excitement in the overtime, but neither team connected. The shootout seems like an OTL sentence anymore, but the Flyers were able to steal their first in 10 months on the strength of a brilliant Claude Giroux goal and three straight Bobrovsky saves. They'd lost three this season, and six in a row dating back to last March.
Here's the shootout video. Watch how far Clemmensen ends up out of the net on G's move...
Flyers PR state the team has gotten a goal from a rookie in 11 of their last 13 games and eight of their last nine. Great to see that kind of production at any time, but particularly when the young guns are being called on to contribute even more with some veteran scorers out.
Giroux also took on added responsibilities, playing a whopping 27:17. He put up nearly 28 against Boston.
The Flyers tallied 38 hits a game after notching 39. Twenty-eight were by forwards, including five by Scott Hartnell.
They didn't do so well in the faceoff circle though, losing 32 of 55.
Video Recap with JJ and Bill Clement:
The Rangers won (3-0 over Winnipeg) to maintain their lead in the division and conference, and the Capitals topped the Bruins to take hold of the Southeast Division by virtue of having more wins than the Panthers despite the same point total. The third seed currently has eight fewer points than the fourth… The Devils lost in a shootout to the Sabres.
The Flyers who aren't invited to Ottawa for the All-Star Game are off for a week. They don't play again until next Tuesday, when they host the Jets.