After an exhilarating finish to last evening's Flyers victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the orange and black headed back home to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Florida Panthers. The Panthers entered into this contest with a 4-7-4 record (12 pts). Florida has given up 56 goals, which is the second-most goals allowed in the NHL (2nd to NYI - 57 GA).
Matt Read was scratched from this game and was replaced by Tye McGinn in the lineup. It was later announced that Read will be out for six weeks due to multiple tears in his ribs. McGinn had been a healthy scratch for the past couple of games and got the start on the first line with Claude Giroux and Danny Briere.
The Flyers entered with an early power play opportunity but failed to get any chances at the net.
After killing of the power play, Florida quickly pounced at the opportunity of putting the first goal on the board. Peter Mueller connected in front off of a defensive breakdown by the Flyers to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
A couple minutes later, Tomas Kopecky received a stretch pass through the Flyers defense and beat Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Panthers a quick 2-0 lead.
The Flyers had chances in front but still could not connect. In fact, they led in shots attempted throughout the first half of the period.
Many believed that the Flyers would come back down 2-0, especially after last night. Peter Laviolette called a timeout, but the result was not positive. After Jonathan Huberdeau was held down from behind by Kimmo Timonen on a break chance, he was rewarded with a penalty shot.
On the penalty shot, Bryzgalov was beat and was beat BAD. Huberdeau's goal gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead in a little over ten minutes of play.
The first period ended but not without a couple of scoring chances from the Flyers. Scott Clemmensen was phenomenal and stopped a couple of chances down in front. The Panthers ended up finishing the first period up 3-0.
The Flyers, despite outshooting the Panthers 13-10, looked sloppy, tired, and overmatched by a Panthers attack that looked well-rested.
Looking for a turnaround in the second period?
Well, you would have been disappointed. Bryzgalov gave up a rough goal to Huberdeau, who punched one past Bryzgalov in front, before the power play expired. The crowd began to boo as the game started to get out of reach with the Panthers up 4-0. But the boos quickly turned into a loud "Boooosh" as Brian Boucher was sent in to replace Bryzgalov, who has now given up nine goals in two games.
The Flyers not only gave up a power play goal early in the period, they took three more before it ended.
The second period did not offer much excitement except for a fight between Nicklas Grossmann and George Parros, which Parros won. If there was a way to describe the play in the second period, it would be "close but no cigar". The Flyers had chances but could not capitalize.
To think that the third period would be different would be very foolish.
The Panthers again came out with a great attack. A couple of chances by Mike Knuble in front were the only highlights to the Flyers third period.
Finally around the six-minute mark, Luke Schenn connected with a shot from the point to put the Flyers on the board.
A minute after the Flyers score, the Panthers quickly answered as Mueller scored on a rebound in front. It was another easy goal for the Panthers.
But the Flyers answered as Jakub Voracek scored to put the game at 5-2. He has been on fire lately and has arguably been the Flyers best player.
Other than the two goals, it was another flat and boring period by the orange and black. The Flyers were obviously not ready to play a Panthers team that had been well-rested and looking for continued success in Philadelphia.
With the loss, the Flyers fell to 8-10-1 this season. Almost half way through the season and the Flyers still find themselves battling for a low playoff seed. Their next game is scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd at 1 PM against the Winnipeg Jets.
David A. Cattai is a featured journalist with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter (@DCattaiSports), Facebook, and Google+ for sports updates.