December 30, 2018 / 3:15 AM / 6 months ago

Two late goals get Panthers past Flyers

EditorsNote: Changed reference to Huberdeau goal from tying to winning; other style fixes

Jonathan Huberdeau had the game-tying assist with 6:44 remaining and the go-ahead goal with 66 seconds left as the host Florida Panthers rallied to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.

With the Panthers trailing 1-0, Mike Hoffman scored the tying goal on a brilliant pass from Huberdeau, who showed great vision to find his open teammate.

Huberdeau then added the winning goal on Aleksander Barkov’s second assist of the night. It was the 18th goal of the season for Hoffman and No. 10 for Huberdeau.

Backup goalie James Reimer made 34 saves to earn the win.

Florida’s late flourish spoiled the efforts of two Flyers in particular — hometown hero Shayne Gostisbehere, who scored Philadelphia’s only goal, and rookie goalie Carter Hart, who made 34 saves.

Gostisbehere, a defenseman, is the only player in the NHL from the Panthers’ home area of Broward County. In fact, he learned to play hockey as a member of the Florida Junior Panthers program.

His goal on Saturday was his fifth of the season. And in 10 career games against the Panthers, he has three goals and four assists.

Hart, one of six goalies used by the Flyers this season, played just his fourth NHL game (2-2-0). The 20-year-old Canadian was the first goalie drafted by an NHL team in 2016, going in the second round to the Flyers, and he came up about seven minutes short of what would’ve been his first shutout in the league.

Florida, which fell behind 2-0 to the Montreal Canadiens within the first three minutes of Friday’s game, got off to another poor start.

This time, the Flyers needed just 1:45 to score as Gostisbehere found the net from the left circle on an assist from Jordan Weal. Gostisbehere, given time and space, held the puck until he found his opening on Reimer’s glove side.

The Panthers were on the power play for more than three consecutive minutes (3:20) in the first period, including a five-on-three advantage for 40 seconds. But the Panthers got just one shot on goal during that span, and Hoffman missed the net twice from the right circle during the five-on-three.

Hoffman, though, made up for it with his tying goal, and Huberdeau gave Florida the victory just a few minutes later.

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