The Florida Panthers recent run of road success continued Tuesday night as they showed no ill effect of playing the night before as they ran out to a two-goal lead in the first and held on for a 4-3 win over the host Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Panthers have now won five consecutive road games and nine of their past 11.
Florida’s wins away from home are helping them in the standings — and is coming at a good time.
Monday, Florida kicked off a the first of what will be nine of 10 games away from Sunrise.
The Panthers are off to a great start with wins in Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
Florida, winners of its past four, return home Thursday to face the struggling Flyers and then head out on a four-game roadie to the west coast. After that comes a trip to Canada.
The focus Monday was Pittsburgh, and the Panthers scored twice in the opening 20.
Florida’s first came off a Sam Reinhart shot which opened some eyes with the Miami Marlins as he batted the puck out of the air in front of Tristan Jarry at 12:43.
Not two minutes later and it was Aaron Ekblad saving a puck from drifting out of the zone and teeing it up from inside the blue line.
The Panthers held a 2-0 advantage until Pittsburgh scored twice in a span of nine seconds in the second.
The Penguins got on the board on a shot from Bryan Rust, then Jake Guentzel scored off a Sidney Crosby faceoff win.
Florida’s power play, which has been humming along lately, got in on the action 6:01 into the period — and cashed in once more when Jonathan Huberdeau pulled in a long Sasha Barkov rebound and fed Anthony Duclair in the slot.
The Panthers buckled down defensively in the third, keeping the Penguins outside and not in the high danger areas.
Carter Verhaeghe helped give Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers some needed breathing room with 8:49 left as he flew down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Barkov.
Verhaeghe did not pass the puck, rifling a shot past Jarry to make it 4-2.
The Panthers did not score twice on the power play — it went 1-for-2 — to end what had been a franchise-record run of having four consecutive games with multi-goal games.
With the way the Panthers played on the penalty kill, however, they’re fine with it.
Florida had to kill off a penalty late in the game to preserve the two-goal lead, the Panthers getting more scoring chances than the team with the man advantage.
After that, it was up to Bobrovsky as the Penguins threw everything they had at the Florida netminder, making it a one-goal game with 2:09 left on a goal from Crosby with the net empty on the other side.
That was it, though, for the Penguins as the Panthers were able to hold off the surge.
Bobrovsky ended the night with 32 saves.
Florida ended up going 2-0-1 against the Penguins this season with each game being decided by a goal — or in a shootout. The Panthers got five of the available six points against Pittsburgh in the season series.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Anthony Duclair, Florida
2. Aaron Ekblad, Florida
3. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- Last season: Did not play
- Season Series — Florida leads 2-0: Florida 4, @Philadelphia 2; Oct. 23; @Florida 2, Philadelphia 1 (OT); Nov. 24
- All-time regular season series: Flyers lead 55-36-5, 7 ties