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5 Takeaways: Sanheim Makes Statement as Flyers Stun Fla.



Travis Sanheim. Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim celebrates after one of his two second-period goals Tuesday. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ offense has been listless for most of the season, but it has awakened during their current homestand.

Ask the Florida Panthers.

The Flyers erputed for four second-period goals — two by defenseman Travis Sanheim — en route to a 6-3 win over the Panthers Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Philly (26-32-12) has 18 goals over its last four games.

Florida (36-28-7), fighting for a wild-card spot, suffered its first regulation loss in the last eight games. The Panthers had been on a 6-0-1 run before Sanheim and his teammates ruined Florida goalie Alex Lyon’s first game against his former team

Give the Flyers props. They rebounded from a devastating 5-4 loss Saturday to Carolina, which tied it with three-tenths of a second left in regulation.

The Flyers won despite being outshot, 44-24.  Florida had an 84-40 advantage in shot attempts.

Carter Hart had an outstanding game, stopping 41 of 44 shots.

“We’re giving up too many chances on the power play. That’s where they were racking up shots,” coach John Tortorella said. “… But Carter was terrific.”

Morgan Frost (two points) iced the win with an empty-net goal.

Here are five quick observations:

1. Egor Zamula played well in his first NHL game since Dec. 1.

The Flyers dressed seven defensemen, and Zamula had a strong game wile being paired mostly with Tony DeAngelo.

Recalled from the Phantoms on Monday, Zamula collected two  assists and finished with a plus-2 rating in about 13 minutes of action. It was the first multiple-point game of his career.

“He kept it simple, executed well, and made some good plays,” Hart said of the 6-foot-3 Russian.

Three young players — Zamula, Noah Cates, and Tyson Foerster — each had two assists.

“We’re beginning to build a foundation,” Tortorella said, “and it’s really encouraging to me.”

2. Three goals in 2:01 turned the game in the Flyers’ favor.

Scott Laughton put on four moves on a mini-breakaway and deposited his 16th goal of the season with 3:06 to go in the second.

“I had some time,” Laughton said. “I didn’t feel anyone on my back.”

That started a surge in which Sanheim and Ivan Provorov also scored to make it 5-2 in the second period.

DeAngelo, Cates, and Foerster, respectively, set up the goals in a 2:01 span, and the Philadelphia Flyers were on their way to going 2-0-1 in their last three games

3. Joel Farabee has regained his mojo.

The 23-year-old left winger went 26 straight games without a goal recently. Since then, he has scored a goal in three straight games.

Farabee (two points, three shots) tied the game at 1-1 as Cates’ shot deflected off off him and past former Flyer Lyon with 15:17 to go in the first.

The Cicero, N.Y., native hasn’t been himself this season after undergoing neck surgery. But his late-season surge should give him good feelings heading into the 2023-24 campaign.

The Flyers desperately need him to regain his form.

4. Defenseman Travis Sanheim is getting more involved in the offense.

Like Farabee, Sanheim has bounced back after a long offensive drought. He’s skating up in the offense and getting more scoring chances recently. Sanheim scored two goals Tuesday from in close, giving him seven tallies on the season.

With 1:55 left in the second, Sanheim made it 4-2 as he dug the puck away from Lyon, who couldn’t control a rebound and lost his stick.

Earlier, he gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead as he scored from the right circle with 11:18 remaining in the second. Brendan Lemieux, who has been impressive lately, made a perfect feed to set up the goal.

“I’m at my best when I’m jumping up in the attack,” Sanheim said.

Sanheim has three goals in his last four games — after going scoreless in 29 straight. He has been mentioned in trade rumors, but a strong finish might make the Flyers rethink dealing him.

5. Florida threatened to break the game open in the early minutes.

The Panthers scored 1:15 into the game on a deft deflection by Matthew Tkachuk, who has 34 goals in his first season in Florida. Thirteen seconds later, the Panthers got a power play and they swarmed the net, but couldn’t beat Hart.

Florida had the game’s first seven shots. The Flyers regrouped, tied the game, and controlled play for about five minutes. The Panthers then had numerous Grade A chances, but Hart kept it tied at 1-1 heading into the second.

The Panthers had a 19-10 shots domination in the first 20 minutes. Hart was at his best as he stopped Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell on point-blank power-play chances with five-plus minutes left in the first stanza.

Without those clutch saves, the Flyers would have been chasing the game.


Sanheim had his fifth career two-goal game. … Owen Tippett and Sanheim were each plus-3. … Lyon started because Sergei Bobrovksy, another ex-Flyers, played the previous night in Detroit. Bobrovsky in his career against the Flyers: 19-6-1 with a 2.35 GAA and .922 save percentage. … Lemieux (four hits) had his first fight as a Flyer, battling Radko Gudas. … Nick Seeler blocked four shots. … The Flyers host Minnesota on Thursday.

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