Jonathan Huberdeau beats Ilya Bryzgalov on a penalty shot in the first period of the Flyers 5-2 loss to the Panthers. Huberdeau finished with two goals and two assists for a four-point night.
Just a day after a hard-fought and thrilling 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Flyers were definitely going to face a test, even in the Florida Panthers. The team would be spent physically.
But playoff teams put that behind them for the game and play hard anyway. The Flyers were lifeless as the Panthers rolled to an easy 5-2 win.
In the early going, the Flyers commanded play with multiple scoring chances. But a defensive lapse left Peter Mueller alone in the slot and he fired a snap shot past Ilya Bryzgalov to put the Panthers on the board at 8:15.
Just 29 seconds later, a costly turnover allowed the Panthers to advance the puck to a wide open Tomas Kopecky behind the defense. He fired a shot past Bryz as well to give Florida a quick two-goal lead.
Just two minutes after Mueller's opener, Jonathan Huberdeau also managed a breakaway and was hooked by Kimmo Timonen, resulting in a penalty shot. Huberdeau showed his skill, making a brilliant move to beat Bryzgalov and make it 3-0.
That score would hold for the remainder of the period.
The Flyers did have their chances, including two attempts that forced Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen out of his crease. Clemmensen made a save on Ruslan Fedotenko with a wide-open net. Early in the second, a breakaway by Sean Couturier failed as Couturier beat Clemmensen but slid the puck through the crease and wide.
The Panthers would get the only goal of the second at the 11:46 mark as Huberdeau tucked a shot past Bryzgalov for a power-play goal.
That ended the night for a frustrated Bryzgalov. He threw his stick up the tunnel as he walked to the locker room after being pulled for Brian Boucher. Bryzgalov stopped 11 of 15 shots by the Panthers.
The Flyers managed a goal as Luke Schenn fired a shot from the point that beat Clemmensen at 13:49. It was Schenn's second goal of the season, both coming against the Panthers. All that did was erase the shutout but it was too little too late for anything else.
Less than a minute later, Mueller scored on a rebound for his second goal of the game to make it 5-1.
Just seconds later, at 15:35, Jakub Voracek scored for his eighth point in the last three games to cut the score to 5-2.
Even with a two-goal game, Huberdeau wasn't the top star. Clemmensen stopped 32 of 34 shots the Flyers fired his way as the Panthers let their goalie help win a game in Philadelphia.
So one night after gutting out a late-minute win in Pittsburgh, the Flyers couldn't avoid a lagging loss the next night. There is still not much time to rest before the team's next game. The Flyers host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon.
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Flyerdelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.