SUNRISE, FL — The Philadelphia Flyers edged the Florida Panthers 3-2 at the BankAtlantic Center on Sunday afternoon. There were not too many highlights, as both teams appeared sluggish, and it was controversy that took over and determined the game’s outcome.
After seven penalties, including two fighting majors, in the opening frame, a somewhat quieter second period ensued. In the third, the game took a turn for the worst, when with the score 2-1, Jaromir Jagr took a hooking penalty 1:53 in. Just over a minute later, Maxim Talbot took a four-minute penalty after drawing blood with a high stick at the 3:13 mark. A minute later, with Jagr out of the box and the Panthers unable to capitalize on the two-man advantage, Matt Read found himself on a shorthanded breakaway. Jason Garrison came in on Read to break up the play.
“I got caught flat footed,” Garrison said. “It was kind of a loose puck in the zone and [Read] flew. I kind of caught him and then he was off to the races. It was my only play to slide and try to hit the puck. Obviously I hit the body as well.”
Read was confused as well, smiling as he told the Philadelphia media, “I didn’t really know what happened. I fell down and just tried to whack at the puck when I was down. I didn’t even know I got a penalty shot until I get to the bench and someone told me, ‘I was like, ‘Oh, OK. Perfect.’ ”
In slow motion, he appeared to have not hit the body, but the referees saw it otherwise, awarding a penalty shot to Read. To add insult to injury, Stephen Weiss, who had been stripped of the alternate captaincy, skated towards the referee. It is unknown what was said, but it was enough to award Weiss a 10-minute misconduct in addition to a game misconduct.
“Obviously the frustration was there with [Weiss] on the call,” coach Kevin Dineen said. “To me, he’s our most valuable player as far as how I use him in a lot of key situations. Without him in the lineup it’s a pretty big hole.
“You always understand there’s frustration. If you feel you’ve been wronged and actually may have been correct, at the end of the day there’s a bigger picture that we need to take care of, and for the most part that’s been one of our strengths and that didn’t come through tonight.”
Read’s penalty shot went off the inside of goalie José Théodore’s right pads and into the net. The goal put the Flyers up 3-1 and ultimately would turn into the game-winning goal as Tomas Fleischmann scored with just seven seconds remaining in the closing period.
It was the first time since 1997 that the Panthers had allowed a penalty-shot goal at home.
“When I came out and took a fake shot, I thought he opened his legs up a little bit, and I just shot for the five hole,” Read said. “I think it hit the inside of his pad and somehow it just snuck through there and barely made it over the goal line.”
It was the the fourth goal and first game-winning goal at the NHL level for the Bemidji State University alum, who said he had never taken a penalty shot at any level.
Defenseman Braydon Coburn scored his first goal of the season Sunday afternoon. After an initial feed from Maxim Talbot, Coburn found himself on a rush. He passed the puck to Jakub Voracek on the right wing. Voracek shot the puck a little bit wide left of the net, where Coburn’s stick was extending in the paint. He tipped it home easily. For the eight-year veteran, it was only his 27th career goal over 395 NHL games.
The goal capped off an exciting week for the 26-year-old defenseman, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007. He signed a multi-year” contract extension on Wednesday.
“We are happy to have Braydon under contract,” general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. “He is and will continue to be a big part of our defense corps.”
Evgeny Dadonov made his 2011 Panthers debut Sunday. He had spent the first two games as a healthy scratch for the Cats, before being sent down to the Panthers AHL affiliate in San Antonio on October 12 to get more playing time. With Scottie Upshall out indefinitely, Dadonov was called up Saturday. While in San Antonio, Dadonov scored three goals over nine games. He did not wait to make an impact in his first game back with the big club. Down 2-0 in the second period, Ed Jovanovski intercepted the puck in the Panthers zone. He passed it up to Dadonov, who took it from the center mark and down the left wing side, working around the defensemen, he was able to get a shot off past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
“First game back, I wanted to score a goal and get some points,” Dadonov said.
He may have a lot to prove still, but Dadonov holds a special place in Panthers fans hearts. Last season, he burst onto the scene, scoring eight goals in 36 games with the Panthers. He was the team’s lone representative on All-Star weekend, playing in the Skills Competition.
- Fleischmann now has points in 10 of his last 11 games. His six goals put him in a tie for second on the team with defenseman Jason Garrison.
- A total of 15 penalties for 54 penalty minutes were handed out between the two teams. Neither team converted on their power-play opportunities, although the penalty shot counts as a shorthanded goal.
1) Daniel Briere (PHI) G
2) Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI) W
3) Evgeny Dadonov (FLA) G