for this game

Gratton's fluke goal helps Panthers edge Flyers

Mar 9, 2007 - 5:25 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- With their playoff chances dwindling, the Florida Panthers needed all the help they could get from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Chris Gratton scored a fluke goal early in the third period and added an assist to lead the Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the Flyers.

Ville Peltonen added his 13th goal of the season and Ed Belfour stopped 26 shots for Florida (28-27-13), which climbed within four points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We got two points tonight, and that's all we can worry about right now," Panthers defenseman Ruslan Salei said. "We just have to get ready for our next game on Saturday. That is our focus and we can't do anything about the games we lost or any other team."

After Dmitry Afanasenkov tallied at 1:55 of the second period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead, Gratton made a pass from behind the net that deflected off goaltender Martin Biron's stick to Peltonen. The Finn unleashed a wrist shot that beat Biron low to the glove side at 3:15 to forge a tie.

"We found a way to win the game," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "We got two goals from Gratton's line, and that was nice. It was a good win."

A strange play just 1:43 into the third resulted in the winning goal for the Panthers. Gratton fired a wrister from the blue line that was stopped by Biron, whose clearing attempt bounced off defenseman Randy Jones' shin and into the net, giving the former Flyer his 12th tally and Florida a 2-1 edge.

"It was a bad dump on my part," Gratton said. "I gave the puck right to Biron, and he is good at moving the puck. I knew he wanted to get it up quick, but it was just a fortunate play for us. It was just a lucky bounce."

"I think that I saw an opportunity to get the puck up the ice and I was looking straight out there, and Randy Jones didn't have much of an area to go," Biron said. "It was just me trying to get it past him. He tried to get out of the way at the same time I tried to get the puck through."

Belfour made it stand, stopping all 10 shots he faced in the period en route to his 21st win of the season.

"You can count this one as one of our few lucky wins," Panthers captain Olli Jokinen said. "Eddie was as outstanding as he has been this year. He got us through the game and made some big saves, and you need that if you are going to win in this league."

Acquired from Buffalo at last week's trade deadline, Biron made 35 saves in his second home start for Philadelphia, which has lost five of its last six at the Wachovia Center.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 1 1 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PHI - DIMITRY AFANASENKOV 9 (MIKE YORK, BRAYDON COBURN) 1:55
    FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 13 (CHRIS GRATTON) 3:15
    3RD PRD: FLA - CHRIS GRATTON 12 (UNASSISTED) 1:43
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: FLA - 0 OF 3, PHI - 0 O

    Mar 8 9:32 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots

    Panthers vs. FlyersMar 8 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: FLA - CHRIS GRATTON 12 (UNASSISTED) 1:43

    Panthers vs. FlyersMar 8 8:57 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Florida
    0 1 --1
    Philadelphia 0 1 --1
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Florida 15 11 --26
    Philadelphia 8 9 --17
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Florida, Ed Belfour (17 shots, 16 saves). Philadelphia,
    Martin Biron (26 shots, 25 saves). Referees: Eric Furlatt,

    Mar 8 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 13 (CHRIS GRATTON) 3:15

    Panthers vs. FlyersMar 8 8:04 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - DIMITRY AFANASENKOV 9 (MIKE YORK, BRAYDON COBURN) 1:55

    Panthers vs. FlyersMar 8 8:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 15 15
    PHI 8 8
    GOALIES: FLA - ED BELFOUR
    PHI - MARTIN BIRON

    Mar 8 7:42 PM