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Anthony Stolarz outclasses former team as Flyers fall to Panthers

(Derik Hamilton/Associated Press)

Goals were hard to come by on Sunday night for the Philadelphia Flyers. Too hard, in fact.

Former Flyers netminder Anthony Stolarz had all the answers for the Florida Panthers as the visitors from South Florida walked away with two points in a 4-1 victory at Wells Fargo Center. The loss snapped the Flyers’ three-game point streak.

Stolarz, a 2012 second-round pick by the Flyers who appeared in 19 games for the Orange and Black, stopped 32 shots en route to his 14th victory of the season. Sam Reinhart racked up two goals to help the Panthers outscore the Flyers, nabbing his 50th of the season in the process and becoming the first Panther to reach that milestone since Pavel Bure in 2001.

Bobby Brink tallied the lone goal for the Flyers, his 10th of the season. Felix Sandström made just 11 saves in the loss and is now 1-2-0 on the season.

“I need to be able to step up though, keep us in it,” said Sandström after the game. “So I’m not too happy about today.”

Head coach John Tortorella wasn’t happy about the performance either, merely shrugging before walking from the podium when asked about his goaltender. He did clarify through Flyers PR later though that Sandström is “trying his ass off.”

It was merely a bump in the road – hopefully – for the Flyers as they continue their playoff push into late March.


The Flyers were the better team throughout the period and generated more shot attempts but were having trouble hitting the target. They finally nabbed their first shot on goal while on the power play at the 8:29 mark.

Not long after the Panthers killed off the penalty, a Sam Reinhart delay of game minor, they scored the game’s first goal courtesy of Reinhart himself. Florida’s leading goal scorer was left all alone in close and beat Felix Sandström with a shot that leaked through his arm and in to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

The Panthers received a power play of their own after Joel Farabee was whistled for holding Josh Mahura shortly after the goal. Luckily, the Flyers killed it off as the penalty kill has started to return to form in recent games.

Philadelphia had another crack at the power play less than 30 seconds later but still couldn’t solve Anthony Stolarz. They then received another power play just over a minute after that when Ryan Lomberg elbowed Travis Konecny in the jaw during a post-whistle scrum, only to not score on that opportunity either.

The rough stuff didn’t stop there as tempers flared at the buzzer after usual pest Matthew Tkachuk tried to hip check Tyson Foerster in front of the penalty box as the clock struck zero.

Tkachuk, Bobby Brink, and Cam York all received roughing minors, giving Florida a power play to begin the second period much to the chagrin of John Tortorella.


It took the Panthers just 55 seconds to connect on the man advantage to double their lead thanks to a Reinhart feed to Vladimir Tarasenko.

Despite allowing another goal, the Flyers continued to pepper Stolarz and the Panthers with shots. The former Flyer kept frustrating the home team with timely saves and was the best player on the ice all game long.

The Flyers earned their fourth power play of the game at the 8:17 mark of the period on an Evan Rodrigues slash against Morgan Frost, but again came up empty.

The Panthers would leave the ice at intermission with a 2-0 lead as the Flyers were still stumped by their former goaltender.


Philadelphia came out of the gate firing almost at will at the Florida net, but Stolarz still wouldn’t be solved.

The Panthers were opportunistic when the Flyers weren’t and were able to make it a 3-0 hockey game just 4:43 into the third period.

Carter Verhaeghe received a pass, busted through the defense, and wired a shot that trickled in off the glove of Sandström, who couldn’t buy a timely save in this contest.

Later in the period, it took a fifth power play to finally break through for the Flyers and Tortorella even pulled Sandström to give the Flyers a risky 6-on-4, but it worked out. Brink was spotted by Ryan Poehling and fired it home to make it 3-1 with 7:06 to play.

It was the second consecutive game in which Philadelphia scored on the power play, but they only needed a second attempt to finish on Saturday versus five on Sunday.

The Flyers finally had life after the goal, but Reinhart put any hopes of a comeback to rest for good with an empty-netter to give Florida a 4-1 advantage on his 50th marker of the season.

That would be all she wrote as the Florida Panthers avoided the season sweep and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1.

3 STARS OF THE GAME: 1) Anthony Stolarz – FLA, 2) Sam Reinhart – FLA, 3) Brandon Montour – FLA


The Flyers visit The World’s Most Famous Arena on Tuesday night (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) when they take on the Metropolitan-leading New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

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Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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