PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami/AP) – The Florida Panthers have been very good at getting at least a point in the majority of their games this season.
The Panthers have gone past regulation in each of their past three games, and the length of their latest was one for the record books.
After winning a marathon shootout, the Panthers would certainly prefer to keep things simple Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Florida (13-8-8) has sandwiched Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss at Buffalo with a pair of shootout victories, going a league-record 20 rounds before emerging with a 2-1 victory over Washington on Tuesday. The Panthers were down to their last shot five times, but scored each time before Nick Bjugstad’s winner.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said goaltender Roberto Luongo, who had 23 saves before turning aside 15 chances in the tiebreaker.
Luongo only needed to stop two shootout attempts after making 29 saves in a 3-2 win Friday at Detroit in his previous start.
He’s 5-1-1 with a 2.08 goals-against average over his last seven starts, and he’ll likely get the nod again as he goes for his first three-game win streak since winning five straight with Vancouver last December.
Luongo, though, stopped 26 shots in a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 6 after winning four of his previous five matchups against the Flyers (11-14-5) behind a 2.01 GAA.
Bjugstad scored the lone goal in the most recent meeting, ending a 10-game drought to start the season. He’s added 11 more since then to lead the team and sits four goals shy of his career high set last season.
Still, the 22-year-old center’s poise was on display in Tuesday’s shootout.
“I kind of relaxed, took a deep breath and tried going in there with confidence and it worked out,” Bjugstad said.
The Flyers are trying to bounce back from Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay after scoring 17 goals during a 3-0-2 stretch.
“They didn’t give us a lot of room, and we didn’t create enough offensive chances,” coach Craig Berube said, alluding to Philadelphia’s 24 shots.
Wayne Simmonds scored on his only shot against the Lightning, giving him a team-leading 14 goals. The right wing has scored six in six games after getting three over the previous 20, coming up empty in two meetings with Florida over that span.
Simmonds has just two goals in 14 career meetings with the Panthers, while Jakub Voracek has five points in the past seven.
Voracek is tied with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin on 37 points, one back of Dallas’ Tyler Seguin for the league lead. The right wing has collected seven points in the past eight games, but failed to get any Tuesday.
Claude Giroux got on the scoresheet with an assist against Tampa Bay and has eight points during a six-game streak. The center has been more productive at home than on the road, getting 22 of his 35 points there with at least one in 14 of 15 games.
He’ll try to carry that momentum into a season-high eight-game trip starting Saturday in Toronto.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
[display-posts category=”panthers” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]