Flyers Clinch Playoff Spot With 5-2 Win
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Claude Giroux scored two goals and the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a Stanley Cup playoff berth by beating the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday.
Tye McGinn, Sean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Flyers and Steve Mason made 38 saves.
The Flyers won their second consecutive game after losing the four previous games.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Gudbranson scored goals for Florida and Dan Ellis stopped 22 shots. Ellis substituted for Roberto Luongo, a late scratch with an upper-body injury. The Panthers have lost six of their past seven games.
The Flyers scored four goals in the second period, including three on their first four shots.
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead when Lecavalier found a loose puck in the slot and wristed it between Ellis’ pads at 2:02 for his 20th goal of the season. The Flyers have seven 20-goal scorers.
Philadelphia went ahead 2-0 when Giroux fired a shot from the top of the right circle that got cleanly by Ellis at 6:29.
The Flyers stretched their lead to 3-0 a few minutes later on Giroux’s second goal. Mark Streit dropped a pass to Giroux in the slot and his wrist shot beat Ellis at 8:50.
Philadelphia went ahead 4-0 with 4:57 left in the second when Couturier wristed in a rebound from the right side. It was his first goal in 18 games.
The Panthers tried to fight back into the game with two goals early in the third period.
Gudbranson scored 1:14 into the third when he fired a shot from just inside the blue line that got past Mason to make the score 4-1.
Huberdeau pulled the Panthers to 4-2 when he poked the puck between Mason’s pads at 5:38 of the third. It was the first goal for Huberdeau since Jan. 20 at Pittsburgh.
The Flyers made it 5-2 when McGinn took a pass from Lecavalier from behind the net and poked the puck past Ellis with 4:54 left in the third.
NOTES: Flyers R Steve Downie returned to the lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury .Huberdeau returned after missing 11 games with a lower-body injury.The Panthers recalled center Drew Shore from AHL San Antonio and reassigned forward Bobby Butler to the Rampage.
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