After playing their previous game Wednesday in Tampa, the Philadelphia Flyers made themselves at home in the Sunshine State with a 'team bonding' trip that including fishing on the Gulf, golf and time by the pool.
On Sunday, the tourists from Broad Street took over BankAtlantic Center with a strong performance in a 3-2 win over the Panthers.
So, the Panthers failed to win at home again? The good news is they go right back on the road.
Florida has been strong on the road and just so-so in Sunrise so far this season, Sunday just another example of the Panthers lack of a home-ice advantage.
The Panthers came into the game tied for the league lead with six road wins; Florida is tied for last with just two at home. Florida kicks off another two-game road trip Tuesday in Dallas. This is nothing new: The Panthers haven't had a winning home record since 2008-09.
“You want to have success in front of your home base,'' coach Kevin Dineen said. “We have business to take care of this week before we come back here.''
The Panthers weren't happy with the officiating crew, not after Matt Read was given a penalty shot 4:14 into the third on a Jason Garrison penalty.
Stephen Weiss was obviously steamed, so much, he had some select words for the official and was ejected. Read scored on the penalty shot – this was during a four-minute power play by the Panthers – and Philadelphia had a 3-1 lead.
“I got caught flat footed, there was a loose puck on the boards and one of their guys flew,'' Garrison said. “He was off to the races and my only play was to try and get the puck. Obviously I hit the body as well. I'm not exactly sure what happened with [Weiss], but it's an emotional game and he was showing his emotion. He was probably frustrated with the call. It was a tough goal for them to get.''
With Weiss out, Florida was down two forwards as Jack Skille left the game with an undisclosed injury earlier. Still, the Panthers had plenty of chances as Philadelphia was called for six penalties. The Panthers failed to cash in on any of them.
“I believe it was a penalty, not a penalty shot,'' Dineen said. “Stephen showed frustration. Our composure was not great and that was a good example of it. We lost our best forward for the last 10 minutes of the game. .-.-. Stephen is, to me, our most valuable player in how I use him in a lot of key situations, power play and penalty killing. When he's not there, it's a pretty big hole.''
Philadelphia took its first lead with 3:50 left in the first as Danny Briere roofed a loose puck down low. In the second, Braydon Coburn took a pretty pass from Jakub Voracek and slid it past Jose Theodore (32 saves). Florida got going midway through the second with Evgeny Dadonov scoring in his first game back from the minors.
Down 3-1, the Panthers pulled Theodore late and got an goal in the closing seconds as Tomas Fleischmann flipped the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov with a mere 7.4 seconds remaining.
“It was one of those games where we weren't very good early,'' Ed Jovanovski said. “We made it a game. We kind of just ran out of time.''
FLORIDA HALL OF FAMERS
The Panthers will have two more former players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday as Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour will join Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe as the Hall's Class of 2012.
Nieuwendyk, now the general manager of the Dallas Stars, signed with the Panthers soon after the lockout in 2005 but retired early in the 2006-07 season before briefly joining the Florida front office. Belfour also spent his final NHL season with the Panthers, playing here in 2006-07.
Other players in the hall who have played for the Panthers include Dino Ciccarelli (1998-99), Igor Larionov (2000), coach Roger Nielson (1993-95) and builder Bill Torrey (1993-present).
-- Weiss moved into a tie for second place for games played with the Panthers. Weiss will pass Robert Svehla on Tuesday at Dallas as both are tied with 573 games. Radek Dvorak set the record with 613 last season.