Ekblad, Dadonov lead Panthers past Flyers 2-1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Florida Panthers kicked off their longest road trip of the season with another victory.
Aaron Ekblad and Evgenii Dadonov scored goals, Roberto Luongo made 29 saves and the Panthers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
“It’s starting to feel like toward the end of last season,” Luongo said, referring to a five-game winning streak that concluded a year in which the Panthers missed the playoffs. “We’re confident we can get a win no matter the situation,”
Jakub Voracek had the lone goal for the Flyers, who had won three straight and five of six.
Both teams have rebounded nicely after struggling early in the season. The Panthers are 7-5-3, while the Flyers are 9-8-1.
Just eight seconds after Voracek tied the game, Luongo stoned him on a breakaway after Nolan Patrick won the face-off. Oskar Lindblom hit a post on a shot a few minutes later for Philadelphia.
“I thought I had him but I was unlucky,” Lindblom said.
Down 2-0 after two periods, the Flyers came out with energy to start the third. Voracek snapped a shot from the right side past Luongo for his fifth goal to cut the deficit in half.
But they couldn’t get another one past the veteran.
“They made a strong push, they were flying all over the ice and had us on our heels but Lu made a couple big saves,” Florida’s Mike Hoffman said.
Ekblad scored his first goal this season to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead almost midway through the second period. Shortly after Ivan Provorov’s tripping penalty gave Florida a power play, Frank Vatrano deflected Hoffman’s slap shot and the puck trickled to the left side of the net. Ekblad flipped a backhander that hit goaltender Brian Elliott’s stick and glove before going into the net.
“I was just trying to whack it toward the next and got lucky,” Ekblad said. “It has been a while. I never waited this long to score a goal at any level. It’s tough to stay resilient.”
Hoffman has a point in 13 straight games, tying Pavel Bure’s franchise.
Dadonov made it 2-0 late in the second period on his eighth goal. He skated from his blue line up the ice and fired a wrister from just outside the right circle into the top shelf.
“They’re a good, underrated team,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.
NOTES: The Flyers beat the Panthers 6-5 in a shootout on Oct. 16. The teams meet one more time. ... Panthers began a season-high six-game road trip. ... Flyers played the middle game of a five-game homestand. ... Dadonov has four goals in the last six games. He has six goals in seven career games against Philadelphia. ... Ekblad hadn’t scored a goal since March 29 last season, when he recorded his career-best 16th goal. ... Dadonov’s points streak has reached 12 games. ... Florida has a power-play goal in six straight games.
Panthers: Continue road trip at Columbus on Thursday night.
Flyers: Continue homestand against New Jersey on Thursday night.
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