Panthers top Flyers in OT to match NHL’s best home start

Aaron Ekblad scored with 2:21 left in overtime as the Florida Panthers tied the NHL record with 11 consecutive season-opening home victories, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Wednesday night in Sunrise, Fla.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett logged assists on the winning goal. Bennett also scored for Florida, which tied the home-streak record set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks.

Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers, who took their season-high fourth consecutive loss (0-2-2). Philadelphia has scored just 19 goals in its past 12 games.

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves, improving his record against the Flyers to 17-5-1. Overall this season, Bobrovsky is 9-0-2.

The Panthers are now 3-0-0 since their best player, center Aleksander Barkov, went down with an injury.

Flyers goalie Martin Jones was outstanding, keeping the Panthers off the board for the first 43-plus minutes. He finished with 43 saves against the Panthers, who entered the night with the highest-scoring offense in the NHL.

Philadelphia Keith Yandle, a former Panthers defenseman, did not register a point. His team has an 0-2-0 record against the Panthers since Florida bought out his contract in July.

The Flyers opened the scoring with 7:33 expired in the first period. The sequence started with a Panthers two-on-one rush, but Huberdeau’s shot from the right circle was stopped by Jones.

Flyers winger Travis Konecny gathered the long rebound and whistled a stretch pass to Farabee, who made a couple of moves before slipping the puck between Bobrovsky’s pads.

The Flyers had a pair of chances to increase their lead after a first-period roughing penalty on Ekblad and a second-period call for unsportsmanlike conduct on Florida forward Frank Vatrano. However, the Panthers killed both penalties and finally got their first power-play opportunity 3:35 into the third as Nick Seeler was called for slashing.

Florida tied the score just 24 seconds later as Anthony Duclair’s perfectly threaded pass led to Bennett’s tap-in goal. Ekblad had the secondary assist for his pass to Duclair.


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