PHILADELPHIA – It turns out the Flyers might have been a little more than ticked off by that horrendous loss to Carolina on Saturday night after all.
At least that’s the way it sure looked in Tuesday night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center.
In that aforementioned Hurricanes game, the Flyers coughed up a one-goal lead with only 0.3 seconds left on the clock and eventually lost in overtime.
It certainly appeared like a highly motivated, fired-up Philadelphia team a few nights later.
The Flyers said they wanted to take some of the “good stuff” from the Carolina game and apply it to this encounter, which they did.
Tied 1-1 after one period, the Flyers caught fire in the middle frame with four goals in just 10 minutes and went on to a 6-3 victory over the playoff-contending Florida Panthers, who had played the previous night at Detroit.
Defenseman Travis Sanheim led the Philadelphia attack with a pair of goals and Joel Farabee, Scott Laughton, Ivan Provorov and Morgan Frost chipped in with single markers.
Carter Hart stopped 42 of 44 shots and picked up the win in goal for the Flyers while ex-Philadelphia goaltender Alex Lyon took the loss.
Hart came up with some sensational saves, especially during the final eight minutes of the game. The Flyers, ahead 5-2 at one point, were down two men for over a minute and Hart had to be at his best to hold Florida until the final second of the second penalty.
“First off I thought Carter, first period, third period was just terrific,” coach John Tortorella said. “Made some great saves at the end of the game when we decided to stickhandle into the corner instead of ending the game.
“To get out of that two-man (penalty kill) with just one goal was really important. Carter made some terrific saves on the penalty kill.”
Hart never seems to get too high or too low regardless of the outcome. He seemed even-keeled after this one.
“They came out hard and fired a lot of pucks,” Hart said. “I think we did a good job of boxing guys out, letting me see the puck and tying up sticks so they didn’t get second opportunities. I didn’t think they had too many second whacks tonight.”
Sanheim confirmed the Flyers were a little extra motivated by the Carolina outcome.
“I think the biggest thing off that last game, we didn’t want to take away from the good effort we did put in,” he said. “Obviously we deserved a better fate and couldn’t close it out but we liked our effort. We wanted to come out and do much the same and I thought we did that.”
Farabee, who scored for the third straight game after enduring a 26-game drought, kicked off the Flyers’ scoring by deflecting a Noah Cates shot past Lyon at 4:43 of the first period.
“I think the last 15-20 games now we’ve been trying to really establish a net-front presence,” Farabee said at the first intermission. “Shots from the point and you know good stuff happens when you throw it at the net and get tips and stuff like that. So that’s what we’ve been trying to do. I got a little lucky, it hit off my pants there.”
The Flyers gave up an early goal to Matthew Tkachuk at 1:15 but the Flyers didn’t get down on themselves.
“I thought we came out a little flat,” Farabee said. “But then right when they scored I felt like we picked up our game a bit. Got our forecheck going.”
From there it was better sailing, especially mindful of completing the job, like they didn’t do against Carolina.
“We knew this was their fourth game in six nights,” Farabee said of the Panthers. “When you play that many games in that many days it’s tough when a team is grinding you out, which I think we did very well. Cycling the puck against them, it gets frustrating. Definitely felt good about our game tonight.”
The Flyers took their first lead at 8:42 of the second period on Sanheim’s first goal. Brendan Lemieux bumped ex-Flyer defenseman Radko Gudas off the puck and fed Sanheim in the right circle for an accurate one-timer.
After Brandon Montour’s goal at 14:17, the Flyers punched in three goals in 3:01.
Kevin Hayes spotted Laughton cutting up the middle. Laughton raced in, pulled up, threw a couple deke moves at Lyon and punched in a backhander at 16:54.
Sanheim connected again at 18:05. This time Cates chased down the rebound of his initial shot and found Sanheim open in front for a short punch shot. Finally, Provorov hit the net just 55 seconds later, cutting across the crease and beating Lyon with a backhander.
Laughton said one key for the Flyers was not getting down on themselves when the Panthers scored early.
“It’s kind of been like that all year,” Laughton said. “Kind of get down and find a way to get back. We had some good structure late in the (first) period.”
In the third period, Florida made things a little tense with a power-play goal but Frost wrapped it up with an empty-net goal with 2:01 to play.
Egor Zamula, just recalled from Lehigh Valley, picked up his third and fourth assists of the season. “I’m just trying to play my game,” he said. “The points will come. I know I can make plays. But sometime you stay at home.” . . .Tyson Foerster recorded assists on Provorov’s and Frost’s goals. That’s five NHL points in just his first six games. . .The Flyers return to action on Thursday night when they play host to the Minnesota Wild in the fifth game of their seven-game homestand. . . .Hart has become the youngest goaltender in Flyers history to record 80 victories.