The Florida Panthers will look for their fourth consecutive victory when they face the host Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
The Panthers (36-27-7, 79 points) earned a 5-2 road win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.
Aleksander Barkov had an assist, his 43rd of the season, to set the Florida franchise record for most career points with 614. He broke a tie with Jonathan Huberdeau for the team mark.
“He’s maybe the most humble man I’ve ever met,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said of Barkov. “He’s the most humble elite player I’ve ever met. He feels like he’s the 13th forward or the seventh defenseman and they’re just as important. He treats people like that every day.”
For Barkov, the victory was much more important than the record.
“After my career, I’ll realize it even more,” he said. “Right now, everything happens so fast. We’re in a playoff race, and you don’t think about it all that much.”
Carter Verhaeghe scored two goals for the surging Panthers, who are 6-0-1 over the past seven games, putting them in the second Eastern Conference wild-card position.
Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk had one goal and two assists, giving him five goals and nine assists over the past five games. Eric Staal and Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers, who will complete a back-to-back set on Tuesday.
“It’s a road win,” Maurice said. “Gotta keep it going.”
Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was solid on Monday with 20 saves on 22 shots. He has started 13 consecutive games.
The Flyers enter the Tuesday matchup having gone 1-4-1 in their past six games and 3-10-3 in their past 16.
In its most recent outing, Philadelphia fell 5-4 in overtime to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
In a season filled with maddening losses, the Flyers (25-32-12, 62 points) executed their game plan throughout. Tyson Foerster, Brendan Lemieux and Noah Cates each produced one goal and one assist, and Joel Farabee added a goal against the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes.
Carolina tied the game with 0.3 seconds left on a power-play goal by Martin Necas and then 28 seconds into overtime on a tally by Sebastian Aho.
“A lot of guys battled hard, we battled back, get the lead there,” Philadelphia’s Scott Laughton said. “I take a (holding) penalty with seven seconds left (in the third), they score, and then score first shift of overtime. That’s it.”
That’s why it was tough for outspoken Philadelphia coach John Tortorella to be too upset after the loss.
The Flyers were less than a second from earning two points instead of settling for one.
“I thought we played really well,” Tortorella said. “I thought we had the game controlled. I don’t know how to evaluate it right now.”
The Flyers now will play in the fourth game of a season-high, seven-game homestand.
Since the struggling Flyers almost certainly will miss the playoffs, each game is about competing and seeing how their young players can succeed in the future.
“It was a good feeling to score, but at the end of the day, we didn’t win the game,” said Foerster, who notched his first career goal in his fifth contest. “I feel like every game for me has been about learning, gaining confidence. I just wish we came out with the win.”
–Field Level Media