With the Florida Panthers trailing the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in the third period Wednesday night, David Booth picked off a pass in the attack zone, streaked towards the net, and sniped a shot over Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Booth raised both of his arms into the air in celebration, getting a huge goal against the team that almost ended his career over a year ago.
Just for a few moments, it seemed as though justice might be served for once, for a franchise that has had almost exclusively bad luck for the past decade.
However, a furious late rally came up short, and the Flyers added an empty net goal and won 4-2 in Sunrise.
Adding to the misfortune of a season where the Panthers have had multiple apologies from the NHL for terrible mistakes, Florida appeared to score a goal in the second period that didn’t count. The puck was kicked out by Flyers forward Andreas Nodl, but it was kicked out from behind the goal line. Because no picture clearly showed the puck in the net, the goal wasn’t counted.
The Flyers jumped out early, scoring two goals 65 seconds apart in the first period. Mike Richards and Nodl scored, the latter goal coming on a cross ice pass, which set up Nodl with an easy, empty net tap in goal. The Flyers made it 3-0 in the second period, when James van Riemsdyk backhanded a puck into an open net. Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun had chased the original puck handler Danny Briere and ended up out of position.
The Florida rally started in the third period, on a Rostislav Olesz power play goal. Olesz deflected the Jason Garrison point shot, before picking up his own rebound and shooting it passed Bobrovsky.
With the Panthers seven points out of a playoff spot, and more importantly, with four teams between them and eighth, it could be another season of selling at the trade deadline. Florida wraps up a five-game home stand against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.