« HOMEWARD BOUND: Panthers Thankful for Long Holiday Homestand | Main | REMEMBERING ROGER: Panthers Honor First Coach, Name Press Box After Neilson »

BIG DIFFERENCE: Thomas, Bergenheim Say Hello to Flyers in Florida's 3-1 Win

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Tim Thomas stuck around for the whole game and Sean Bergenheim was in the lineup this time around. That was bad news for the Flyers.

Thomas made 38 saves and Bergenheim scored twice within a 10-minute span as the Panthers opened a five-game homestand with a 3-1 win over Philadelphia on Monday night.

Bergenheim missed Florida's 2-1 loss at Philadelphia on Oct. 8 as he was working his way back into the lineup after being out all of last season. Thomas gave up two goals in less than eight minutes as he left that game early with a groin pull.

"I wasn't thinking payback,'' Thomas said. "I was just thinking we had a pretty good road trip and I wanted to start the homestand the right way.''

Monday, both made their mark against the Flyers in a positive manner.

Thomas was sharp throughout as he helped lead the Panthers to their fourth win in nine games -- of which Thomas has started all of them -- under new coach Peter Horachek.

"I think that gives a lot of guys confidence,'' Horachek said. "They know Timmy is there and he's going to make the save when he needs to. Guys need to feel comfortable in these one-goal games.''

Bergenheim, playing with the flu, showed incredible focus and determination to give Thomas a 1-0 lead early in the second.

Bergenheim got his first crack at goalie Steve Mason but was rejected on a wraparound on the right side of the cage. Bergenheim then followed his own rebound with an odd-angled shot before getting the puck back and finally pushing it past Mason's leg on the left side.

"It feels good [to score] but the win feels the best,'' Bergenheim said. "We're headed in the right direction.''

Bergenheim's goal -- his first since the 2012 playoffs -- came moments after the Panthers completed a tough penalty kill. Florida was forced to play down two skaters for 1:23 after Erik Gudbranson was flagged for delay of game with Scott Gomez already in the box.

Thomas held things down during the extended penalty kill, stopping seven shots during the 2:37 the Flyers held an advantage.

"Killing off a 5-on-3 like that was a turning point for us,'' Gudbranson said. "Obviously I should have made a better play on the second penalty, but the team stepped up. There was a lot of firepower out there.''

The Panthers made it 2-0 on a power play of their own when Bergenehim got a piece of Marcel Goc's heavy shot from the left circle with 6:01 left in the period.

Philadelphia, which has won six of its past eight, cut its deficit to one when Wayne Simmonds knocked in a rebound left after Thomas stopped Scott Hartnall on a power play shot early in the third.

Gudbranson all but ended it with 4:08 left when his shot from 55 feet out hit Mason then bounced over his head and trickled into the net.

-- Mike Weaver was taken off injured reserve on Monday; Tomas Kopecky (upper body) and Matt Gilroy (lower body) were placed on it.

Kopecky was hurt Thursday in Edmonton and could return Saturday; Gilroy will miss at least the next three games.