PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Claude Giroux and Dale Weise all scored in the second period to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
The Flyers followed an 8-2 win against Washington with another dominant offensive effort, capped by the four-goal second.
Wayne Simmonds stole the show after the fourth goal when he dropped agitated Panthers center Michael Haley with a left-handed punch. Simmonds waved his arms toward the crowd and exhorted them to get louder as he skated toward the locker room to serve his major penalty. He high-fived fans and the orange-and-black faithful went wild for a period on the short list of the best in three years under coach Dave Hakstol.
Michal Neuvirth made the lead stand with 40 saves in his first win of the season. Valtteri Filppula scored an empty-netter for the Flyers.
Jamie McGinn spoiled the shutout with his first goal of the season that made it 4-1 late in the third.
The Flyers are deep, fast, attack in waves, and are suddenly one of the more formidable offenses in the league a year after missing the playoffs. They scored five goals in the season opener, scored another five in one of their only two losses, and pounded the Caps for a stunning eight goals.
The Flyers actually went scoreless on 11 shots against Roberto Luongo in the first.
Just a blip.
Couturier poked the puck past a diving Luongo only 1:05 into the second for his fourth goal of the season. Simmonds found Gostisbehere off the give-and-go in the slot for a slapper and a 2-0 lead.
“Ghost” scored his first goal of the season and Robert Hagg had his first career NHL point.
From All-Stars (Giroux, Simmonds) to rookie defensemen (Hagg), everyone has been in on the scoring fun for the Flyers. Giroux scored his fourth goal of the season on a rare power-play breakaway effort for a 3-0 lead.
Weise scored his first goal of the season off a between-the-legs drop pass from No. 2 overall draft pick Nolan Patrick. The 19-year-old Patrick is a future cornerstone player for a franchise that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975. But there’s little pressure to produce immediately if the rest of the core players such as Giroux, Simmonds, Couturier and Jake Voracek (who had his whopping 11th assist) continue to thrive. That they ran up the score against a Panthers team that swept them last season (3-0) made it more impressive.
Notes: Giroux had his 400th career assist. … Panthers F Owen Tippett, the 10th overall pick of the 2017 draft, made his NHL debut. … The Panthers allowed the first goal for the fifth straight game. … Florida is winless on the road. … The Flyers are 8-0-1 at home dating to last season.
Panthers: Host the Stanley Cup champion Penguins on Friday night.
Flyers: Host Western Conference champion Nashville on Thursday night.
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