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Panthers rally late, edge Flyers on Huberdeau’s game-winner

After suffering a back-breaking loss to the Canadiens the night prior, it looked like the Panthers would suffer a similar fate on Saturday.

Florida surrendered a goal 105 seconds into the evening’s game versus the Flyers and then trailed for the ensuing 54 minutes. But unlike Friday, the Panthers were able to turn it on late.

Mike Hoffman tied the game 1-1 with just over six minutes remaining and Jonathan Huberdeau scored the game-winner with 66 seconds left to propel Florida to a 2-1 win over the Flyers.

“It shows a lot about our team,” said Huberdeau, who also assisted Hoffman’s goal. “Last night was a tough game. We didn’t get the start we wanted [tonight], but we stuck with it. We had so many chances that wouldn’t go in and at the end it worked out for us. It’s a big two points, but we’ve got to start climbing and get some other wins too.”

Panthers goalie James Reimer was stellar in net, recording 34 saves on 35 shots on goal. The 30-year-old made a save with two seconds left off a Flyers faceoff win to secure the victory.

“It’s been an up-and-down season for a lot of guys,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “[Reimer]’s definitely one of them, but since about a week or two ago, it looks like he’s turned it around. He’s got some confidence and he’s moving well in the net and he’s controlling his rebounds. Tonight, he had to make some big saves at certain times and he did that.”

For the second consecutive night, the Panthers struggled out of the gate. After giving up two goals in the first three minutes against the Canadiens, Florida fell behind the Flyers just 105 seconds into the contest. Shayne Gostisbehere tallied his fifth goal of the season off assists from Jordan Weal and Scott Laughton to give Philadelphia a quick 1-0 lead.

From there, the teams were knotted in a defensive struggle as over 51 minutes went by without either squad lighting the lamp. The Panthers finally broke the scoreless streak with 6:44 left in the third period after Mike Hoffman fired in a power-play goal off an assist from Jonathan Huberdeau to even the game.

The Panthers will hit the road and face the Red Wings on Monday.

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