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SUNRISE, Fla. — Apparently, the Flyers haven’t rid themselves of those last-minute collapses.

The Panthers' Jonathan Huberdeau scored the game-winning goal Saturday night with 1:06 remaining in regulation as the Flyers fell, 2-1.

How well did Carter Hart perform in his first NHL start on the road and how did Jordan Weal perform filling in for Nolan Patrick?  

Here are my observations from the BB&T Center:

• The game-winning goal should really bother Scott Gordon, considering it was a breakout play from behind the Panthers net and the Flyers had time to set up their defense. The Panthers made it look way too easy as Radko Gudas did a solid job of riding Dadonov out of the play, but once again, the defense had no help from the Flyers' forwards.

• I felt if the Flyers could survive the first period, they would have a definite advantage in the latter half of the game with the Panthers playing on back-to-back nights. However, I thought Florida had the territorial advantage in the second period. It was still encouraging to see the Flyers hold the Panthers off the board through two periods with the help of their goaltending. Through two periods, Florida had 24 scoring chances. Simply way too many.

• You could sense from the opening ten minutes that Hart was locked in tracking the puck and rarely appeared to be off his angle. Secondly, Hart’s rebound control was outstanding. The Panthers had some wide open looks, but shot wide just about every time or whiffed on their shots.  

 

• Having played sparingly since Nov. 27, there was a lot to like about Jordan Weal’s game, especially in the opening period. He set up Shayne Gostisbehere’s goal by driving his man hard to the net, opening up a shooting lane. One his second shift, he wisely took a shot down low to create a rebound chance and was hard on pucks. All good signs in the offensive zone. He had a high-quality scoring chance late in the second period coming down the slot.  

Here’s Gostisbehere with his second goal in his last six games. I wonder if taking him off that top pairing has helped him relax and not be overburdened trying to shut down the other team’s top players paired with Ivan Provorov.

• The Flyers once again killed a 5-on-3 with Hart in net. They only had to dig in for 40 seconds as opposed to a full two minutes last week against the Predators. I don’t think the Flyers' PK was particularly stellar, it was more a product of the Panthers (especially Mike Hoffman), not coming within a country mile of hitting the net.

• The Flyers were playing with fire against the NHL’s second-ranked power play, and they needed to play cleanly in the final ten minutes. James van Riemsdyk's penalty was a sloppy penalty and one the refs were looking for after calling Huberdeau for holding 90 seconds earlier. There was nothing Hart could do on Hoffman’s goal.


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