Bottom 6 Dominance – Flyers 6, Panthers 2

Thursday night the Flyers played the Florida Panthers again, after beating them Monday night in Philly, 5-2. This game was in Florida, with both teams fighting for a playoff spot. Early on, the Flyers had a good start and had a lot of time in the Panthers zone. Michael Raffl drew a penalty on a partial breakaway, and the Flyers had some good chance from Travis Konecny in the slot, while giving up a shorthanded breakaway from Frank Vatrano, and a blast from Aron Ekbkad off the ensuing rebound. 

     Moments later, James Van Riemsdyk made it 1-0 Flyers on a rebound off a slapper from Matt Niskanen, who was wide open on a nice pass from Travis Sanheim. Sanheim has been a thorn in Sergei Bobrovsky’s side, scoring 6 of his 19 career goals against him. After that, the Flyers were stuck in their own zone after a turnover from Kevin Hayes, but were luckily able to survive and keep it scoreless, with some help from Carter Hart.

     Kevin Hayes drew a tripping penalty and the Flyers went on their second PP of the period, but couldn’t get anything past Bobrovsky, including a bullet from Claude Giroux who fired it wide. Tyler Pitlick made it 2-0 on a snipe over Bobrovsky’s shoulder, a beautiful shot giving the Flyers some breathing room, with JVR & Niskanen getting the assists. 

     Nicholas Aube-Kubel made it 3-0 on a juicy rebound from Bobrovsky that sat in the slot, opening the flood gates in this one early. Michael Raffl and Justin Braun got the assists on the NAK goal. After the 1st, the Panthers had a 11-8 shot edge, but found themselves down 3-0.

     To start the 2nd, Florida pulled Bobrovsky, and put in Sam Momtembault. Both teams had their chances in the first few minutes, as the pulling of Bobrovsky didn’t necessarily do much for Florida. They didn’t get any high quality chances, with Carter Hart making some pretty easy saves. Kevin Hayes, Joel Farabee and Scott Laughton had lots of chances. 

     Justin Braun was called for holding, a very weak call in my opinion, and the Flyers had an excellent PK giving the Panthers no time to do anything. The Flyers had all of the Panthers fans booing over the awful PP, or it could’ve been the many Flyers fans booing at Kevin Hayes because he didn’t get his 5th shorthanded goal of the year. I certainly couldn’t tell.

     Travis Sanheim got a little beat up on the PK in the corner, missed a shift and came back on, a good sign there as the young D-man has played very well in last few games. Scott Laughton made it 4-0 on a great pass from JVR, with all 4 goals from the Flyers bottom six. After the 2nd, the Flyers outshot Florida in shots with a 23-18 edge, dominant with all 4 lines, and Carter Hart coming up when the Panthers came his way.

     The Flyers had such a dominant 2nd period in all 3 zones, but in the 3rd, the Panthers broke through and Johnathan Huberdeau made it 4-1. Nothing Hart could do on this goal. The Panthers had lots of chances and made it 4-2 on a snipe from Sasha Barkov, making it a closer tilt with three quarters of the period left, and giving me cardiac arrest.

     Carter Hart made a 10 bell save on Evgenii Dadanov, keeping the Flyers in it. Sean Couturier made it 5-2 on a breakaway on a great pass from Claude Giroux. Coots fought through some hooks n’ holds and ripped it by Momtembault, getting one the Flyers desperately needed as the Cats were pushing.

     Travis Sanheim did not have a shift until 12 minutes into the 3rd, assuming that the injury was a little more serious than thought. Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious as the Flyers don’t need him out for a long period of time. Robert Hagg made it 6-2 on a late PP, solidifying a much needed and deserved win.

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