Panthers stifled in Philly, fall to Flyers 4-1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wearing a mask honoring Ray Emery, Carter Hart gave a performance “Razor” would’ve been proud to see.

James van Riemsdyk had a goal and assist, Hart stopped 30 shots in his return from injury and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Florida Panthers 3-1 Monday night.

Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov and Claude Giroux also had goals for Philadelphia, which is 6-1-1 in the last eight. The Flyers improved to 19-5-4 at home.

MacKenzie Weegar scored for Florida, which has lost four straight.

Hart missed nine games with an abdominal strain but looked sharp in his first game since Jan. 13. His mask featured a photo of Emery’s face and an action shot of the former NHL goalie who died in 2018.

“It was a sad story about Ray,” said Hart, who never met Emery. “I wanted to pay tribute to a guy who the staff here said they loved him.”

Despite missing almost one month, Hart said it took a couple shots for him to get in a groove.

“He looked good, he looked calm, looked poised,” van Riemsdyk said. “He made a lot of stops look easy.”

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who began his NHL career with the Flyers in 2010, had 30 saves.

“The results matter,” Bobrovsky said. “I thought the guys again worked hard. We got a good effort. We have to find a way to eliminate some small mistakes and find a way to score one more than the opposition team.

Van Riemsdyk gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead in the second on his 16th goal. Jake Voracek hopped over the boards onto the ice following a shift change, picked up a loose pick and started a 2-on-none break. Voracek slid a pass to van Riemsdyk, who slipped it past Bobrovsky.

Sanheim flipped in a rebound off van Riemsdyk’s shot for his eighth goal and a 3-1 lead in the final minute of the second period.

Giroux scored into an empty net with the Flyers short-handed late in the third.

Provorov blasted a shot just under the crossbar to tie it at 1 late in the first. He snapped a 17-game goal drought with his 10th this season.

“We gave up a lot of odd-man rushes, they had good looks, Carter made some big saves,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. “We made a couple defensive plays, capitalized on our good looks.”

Weegar ripped a one-timer from the left circle inside the far post for his first goal since Oct. 24, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead early in the first period. Aaron Ekblad‘s slap shot from the opposite side kicked out to Weegar, who fired it home for his fourth goal. Weegar had missed 16 of the last 18 games.

“I know we’re frustrated with a few things and we can make excuses up but we got a great leadership group in here and we have great guys in this room,” Weegar said. “We pick everybody up and we’re not too worried about it. We’ll get scoring, we’ll finish off in the right way this year.”

NOTES: Bobrovsky played in his 500th NHL game. … Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was scratched for the second straight game after returning last Thursday from a knee injury that caused him to miss 10 games. … Flyers forward Joel Farabee sat out his third in a row. … Panthers center Brian Boyle missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. … Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov recorded his 400th career point with an assist on the first goal.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night before returning home to face the Flyers again on Thursday.

Flyers: Begin a three-game road trip at the New York Islanders on Tuesday.