(SportsNetwork.com) – The Florida Panthers needed to go an NHL-record 20
rounds to pick up a shootout victory the last time out and they’ll try to
carry some momentum from that exciting victory into Thursday’s tilt in
The Panthers beat the visiting Washington Capitals by a 2-1 count on Tuesday.
The game featured a total of two goals through 65 minutes, but the clubs
combined to hit the net 11 times in the shootout phase. Both teams went
through their entire lineup once, with the Capitals grabbing the lead five
times only to see Florida answer on its last shot.
Nick Bjugstad eventually won the contest for Florida in the 20th round after
Washington star Alex Ovechkin missed the net on the previous attempt. Bjugstad
got Braden Holtby to bite on a backhand deke before burying a wrister into the
right corner of the net.
Tuesday’s epic battle surpassed the previous shootout record of 15 rounds
between the New York Rangers and Washington on Nov. 26, 2005, which the
Derek MacKenzie scored in the first period and Roberto Luongo stopped 23 shots
for the Panthers through regulation and OT.
“I don’t know how many times guys scored to bail me out and keep me alive, but
they did it,” said Luongo. “Probably half of those goals I was beat, but the
guys either hit the post or missed the net, so I’ll take it.”
Florida follows up the thrilling win with a two-game tour of Pennsylvania.
After visiting the Flyers tonight, the Panthers will head west across the
Keystone State for Saturday’s test in Pittsburgh.
The Panthers, who are 6-4-6 as the road team, will then end December on a
four-game homestand. The residency begins Monday against the Penguins in the
finale of a home-and-home series.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, is hoping to end its four-game homestand with a win
tonight. The Flyers are 2-1-0 during the stay at Wells Fargo Center and will
head out on an eight-game road trip following Thursday’s test.
The Flyers won the first two tests on the homestand before dropping Tuesday’s
3-1 decision against Tampa Bay. Philadelphia was only able to get one puck
past Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 23 shots to earn the win in his NHL
Wayne Simmonds scored the only goal in the loss, posting a power-play goal
late in the opening period.
Steven Stamkos tied the game for Tampa early in the second period and Tyler
Johnson delivered the eventual game-winner later in the period. Valtteri
Filppula added an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation to seal the
“They’re always sound defensively. They have a lot of players on that team
that can skate well,” Simmonds said of the Lightning. “They check well in the
defensive zone. It was a tight game. We’ve just got to find a way to get on
the other side of one-goal games like that.”
Steve Mason made 20 stops in a losing effort for the Flyers, who fell to 8-5-2
as the home team this season. Philadelphia is just 3-9-3 on the road, where
the club will find itself for over two weeks after tonight.
The Flyers and Panthers have split two meetings this season — with each team
winning on home ice — and the clubs will complete the season series tonight.
Philadelphia has claimed three of five overall and has taken the last two
encounters in the City of Brotherly Love.
Mason owns a 7-2-0 record and 1.55 goals against average in nine career
outings against Florida. Luongo is 6-8-2 with a 3.12 GAA in 18 lifetime
appearances versus the Flyers.