SUNRISE, Fla. — Tired legs, perhaps?
The Flyers, playing for the second time in 24 hours, got virtually skated out of the BB&T Center Sunday afternoon by the speedy and red-hot Panthers, 4-1.
After avoiding a shutout with a rebound goal from Travis Konecny with 3:21 left in the third period, the Flyers are in second place in the Metropolitan Division and have been remarkable since Dec. 4 at 26-10-4.
But the past three games have surely been unsettling for Flyers fans, who watched their team play listless hockey in a 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes before blowing a 5-3 lead in a 7-6 shootout loss Saturday afternoon to Tampa.
The Panthers completed an impressive 6-0-0 homestand and have won 13 of their last 16 games to stamp themselves as the hottest team in hockey since Jan. 30.
The tired-legs theory stems not only from the draining and high-scoring loss to Tampa on Saturday and the quick travel down to South Florida but also to the fact the Panthers scored all four of their goals off of stretch passes.
In other words, Florida’s speed got the best of the Flyers all game long.
Here are some more observations:
• This is just the third time since Dec. 4 the Flyers have lost as many as two games in a row. So far, the Flyers have been resilient, not letting a couple of bad games become something more.
• Penalties kept the Flyers from having any flow early in the game. The Flyers were whistled four times in the first period, and one of those – interference by Radko Gudas – led to a Florida goal.
In the second period, the only two calls went against the Flyers, again killing what little momentum the Flyers were able to sustain.
• Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo got an assist before he picked up a save Sunday.
After Gudas was whistled for interfering with Panthers right winger Jamie McGinn, Florida took advantage just 47 seconds later. Luongo got the puck to Keith Yandle, whose stretch pass hit Aleksander Barkov led to the game’s first goal. Barkov, the Panthers’ All-Star center, was too fast to catch.
• Evgenii Dadonov scored the next two goals, and Jonathan Huberdeau made it 4-0 as the Panthers did all of that damage with their top two lines.
• The Flyers had a chance early. They had a lot of open ice for a 75-second span in the first period, when they were playing 4-on-3. The Flyers attempted four shots during that span but didn’t truly come close to a goal.
• Flyers goalie Petr Mrazek won his first three games since he was acquired one week before the trade deadline, but he has also lost his past three in a row. During the win streak, he allowed four goals in three games. During this skid, he has allowed 14 goals.