Reinhart Nets Hat Trick as Flyers Can’t Overcome Rough Start
For most of the first period, the Flyers were getting the goaltending to keep the game manageable as the Florida Panthers peppered the net. In the final 10 minutes of the opening period, the Panthers' power play took over and another late goal seemed to already be the nail in the coffin.
A strong second period with three goals for the Flyers made it a one-goal game again, but the Panthers closed out strong to secure a 6-3 decision over the Flyers on Thursday night.
Florida struck early at the 3:25 mark. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Carter Verhaeghe got the puck and cut to the slot after entering the zone. As he controlled a bouncing puck, he put a turnaround shot on goal that beat Carter Hart to make it 1-0.
On the power play at 14:12, the Panthers extended the lead. Jonathan Huberdeau's shot from the top of the left circle was deflected in by an uncovered Sam Reinhart to make it 2-0.
Reinhart added another power-play goal with 1:49 left in the period. This time, a shot by Huberdeau was stopped by Hart and Reinhart was able to bat in the rebound for his 21st goal of the season.
That wasn't all for Florida in the first. Verhaeghe also added a second goal with 29.3 seconds left in the period, firing a shot off the rush after cutting to the slot for his 20th goal of the season.
Shots in the first period were 18-15 Florida.
The Flyers answered back with a strong second period, ultimately cutting into the lead. Before they could get on the board, Scott Laughton took a hit from Petteri Lindbohm and stayed down on the ice with an injury, needing help getting off the ice. Laughton did not return to the game due to a head injury.
It took until 9:01 for the Flyers to get on the board, as Kevin Hayes pounced on a turnover and set up James van Riemsdyk for his 13th goal of the season.
Just over three minutes later, the Flyers added another goal. After a neutral-zone turnover, Derick Brassard took control and fired a shot that was stopped by Sergei Bobrovsky, but Cam Atkinson followed up to bat in the rebound for his 21st goal of the season.
With 1:08 left in the period, the Flyers cut the lead to one with a power-play goal. A shot by Cam York through traffic was deflected by Travis Konecny for his 10th of the season.
Through 40 minutes, shots were 31-25 Flyers.
The Flyers comeback bid ended there. At 6:59 of the third, the Panthers added another power-play goal with Anthony Duclair getting on the board with his 24th goal of the season.
In the closing moments of the period, Reinhart completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal, making it a 6-3 game with 2:06 remaining.
Bobrovsky made 34 saves on 37 shots in the win. Hart made 31 saves on 36 shots in the loss.
Five Panthers finished with multi-point games. Verhaeghe had two goals and Aleksander Barkov had two assists. Aaron Ekblad and Huberdeau both finished with four assists.
- FLA Carter Verhaeghe (19) (Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad) 3:25
- FLA Sam Reinhart (20) PP (Jonathan Huberdeau, Ekblad) 14:12
- FLA Reinhart (21) PP (Huberdeau, Barkov) 18:11
- FLA Verhaeghe (20) (Unassisted) 19:30
- PHI James van Riemsdyk (13) (Kevin Hayes) 9:01
- PHI Cam Atkinson (21) (Derick Brassard, Claude Giroux) 12:23
- PHI Travis Konecny (10) PP (Cam York, Rasmus Ristolainen) 18:52
- FLA Anthony Duclair (24) PP (Huberdeau, Ekblad) 6:59
- FLA Reinhart (22) EN (Huberdeau, Ekblad) 17:54
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.