Flyers 6, Panthers 3: Sanheim scores twice in second-period outburst

Mar 22, 2023 - 1:51 AM
Florida Panthers v <a href=Philadelphia Flyers" src="" />
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers were hungry to get back in the win column after suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, and they did just that against a hot Florida Panthers Tuesday night.

The Flyers took down the Panthers 6-3 at Wells Fargo Center, ending Florida’s seven-game point streak, thanks largely to a four-goal explosion in the game’s second period.

The game was all knotted up at one goal apiece after 20 minutes, but the floodgates opened in the middle frame, and it was Travis Sanheim who got the scoring started. After winning a puck battle along the boards, Brendan Lemieux found Sanheim uncovered for a cross-ice feed. Sanheim then fired a bullet past former Flyers netminder Alex Lyon to give the Flyers their first lead of the night.

Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour eventually scored a goal of his own to tie the game, but the Flyers responded with a vengeance soon after.

First, Scott Laughton scored a beauty on a breakaway, showing off his sick hands to make it a 3-2 game. Just over a minute later, Sanheim scored his second goal of the period after a strong effort from Noah Cates on the rush. Finally, Ivan Provorov scored the Flyers’ fourth marker of the period when he took advantage of a pretty feed from Morgan Frost and snuck it past Lyon for his fifth goal of the season.

Those three goals came in the span of just 2:01 late in the frame.

Many of the young guns — Owen Tippett, Noah Cates and Morgan Frost, in particular — have been tasked with leading the way offensively for the Flyers in recent games. But against Florida, it was nice to see some of the veterans get involved for a change. Namely, Sanheim desperately needed a performance like this.

After going 12 straight games without a point from the end of February through early March, Sanheim has now scored three goals in his last four games.

“I’m getting (on the right track),” said Sanheim. “Obviously that’s a big part of my game is contributing and joining offensively. That’s something that in the past I’d been getting goals like I got tonight right around the net, so that’s something that I want to continue.

“Hopefully the last stretch here I can put together some big games.”

Meanwhile, at just 23 years old, Joel Farabee isn’t exactly regarded as a veteran at this point. But with four seasons as an NHLer under his belt, he’s not exactly a newbie either. And suddenly, he’s getting mighty hot.

Following a 26-game goalless drought, Farabee now has goals in each of his last three outings. He scored the Flyers’ first goal of the night when he redirected a Cates shot past Lyon in the first period, giving him 12 tallies on the season.

Farabee’s had a rough year after undergoing disc replacement surgery last summer, but his play has improved noticeably in recent weeks, which is a positive sign as the Flyers begin looking ahead to the future.

“Joel’s playing better, and he’s being rewarded,” said head coach Tortorella. “There’s a little bit of chemistry there with that line right now, and he’s getting rewarded, getting him put in some really good spots to try to prove himself.”

Speaking of heating up, Frost has also been playing some solid hockey as of late. He finished the night with a goal (the empty-netter) and an assist to give him 35 points on the season.

Only two Flyers — Travis Konecny and Tippett — have logged more points than Frost’s 27 since December 11.

Young defenseman Egor Zamula, who was called up from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Monday morning, get a secondary assist on Farabee’s tally. He added another assist on Laughton’s breakaway goal in the second period.

Carter Hart, coming off a strong 36-save performance against the Buffalo Sabres last Friday, but together another strong game Tuesday night. Despite giving up a goal just 1:15 into the game, Hart rebounded to turn aside 42 of the Panthers’ 45 shots on goal. Nineteen of those shots came in the first period.

After the game, Tortorella wasted no time praising Hart’s performance.

“I thought Carter, first period, third period, was just terrific,” said Tortorella. “Made some great saves at the end of the game when we decide to just stick handle into the corner instead of ending the game.”

Without Hart’s stellar play early on, this game probably would have finished with a very different result.

The Flyers now have 64 points on the season, but remain the 27th-ranked squad in the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes one point ahead of them in the standings.

The Flyers have three games remaining on their long homestand. They take on the Minnesota Wild Thursday night, followed by tilts against the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens before hitting the road to face off against Claude Giroux and the Ottawa Senators next Thursday.

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