The Philadelphia Flyers showed a short memory on Thursday night, downing the Florida Panthers for the second time this week.
James van Riemsdyk scored once and assisted twice while Carter Hart made 26 saves as the Flyers rolled to a 6-2 road win in Sunrise. It was the Flyers’ 32nd win of the season, keeping them in the top eight in the Eastern Conference.
“It was a great effort from us tonight since this isn’t an easy place to come and play,” Hart said. “We started strong tonight and we took advantage of the game to put it away. We’ve been playing really good hockey. Guys we’re really disappointed with the game against New York, so we wanted to answer the call tonight against another good team.”
It was a fast start for the Flyers, a total opposite of Tuesday’s night first 20 minutes against the New York Islanders. Van Riemsdyk’s slap shot 4:24 into the opening period kicked off an eventual three-goal period for the Flyers at BB&T Center.
The forward set up Tyler Pitlick with 2:23 remaining, allowing Pitlick to rifle a wicked wrist shot past Sergei Bobrovskyfor a 2-0 Flyers lead. It was Pitlick’s sixth goal of the season as his shot dipped just under the crossbar to double the visitors lead.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel’s tap in 55 seconds later further extended the Flyers lead to 3-0 before the end of the period.
Van Riemsdyk’s strong night continued as the winger set up Scott Laughton for his 10th goal of the season with 1:02 remaining in the second period.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Alex Barkov scored 4:23 apart to cut the Panthers deficit to 4-2, but ultimately the Flyers would pull away with a pair of late goals. Claude Giroux sprung Sean Couturier on a breakaway with just under five minutes remaining to ice the result for Alain Vigneault’s side. Couturier fought off hook after hook from Vincent Trocheck, but rifled a wrist shot past Sam Montembeault for his 17th goal of the season.
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Robert Hagg added a power play goal for good measure, stamping the final score at 6-2.
“We jumped right back on the horse,” Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “Got a fast start and that helps. It’s becoming a trend when we bounce back really good.”
Hart looked strong once again this week, denying two of the league’s top scorers on numerous occasions. Although he was beaten twice, it was a small mental breakdown from the Flyers that ultimately didn’t kill their chances at two points on the night.
Up next is a trip to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday in the final game of the Flyers three-game roadtrip.