Sam Reinhart scores 6th hat trick, Panthers beat Flyers 6-3

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Fans were throwing hats on the ice early in the third period to pay tribute to Sam Reinhart, after they thought he had scored his third goal of the night.

Small problem: They were wrong. This goal was not his.

Turns out the hats arrived early. Reinhart ended up scoring the third goal after all, Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and the Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to five games by beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 on Thursday night.

“Just a little delayed,” Reinhart said. “It’s good to have won the victory at the end.”

Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad each had four assists for Florida. Anthony Duclair also scored and Aleksander Barkov had two assists for Florida, which tied the season record with three power-play goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots for the Panthers, improving to 18-3-1 in his last 22 outings.

Huberdeau had 64 assists this season, changing his own single-season record in Florida. He had 62 in the 2018-19 season in 82 games; Thursday was his 58th game this season.

Huberdeau had an open goal at the end for an easy goal; instead, he pushed the puck to Reinhart for the hat trick.

“Before the shift, I said to him, ‘If you’re open, I’ll pass it to you,'” Huberdeau said. He has played so well this year. »

James van Riemsdyk, Cam Atkinson and Travis Konecny ​​scored for the Flyers, who were aiming to tie a season record by winning three straight games. Carter Hart stopped 31 shots.

“I thought we played hard,” van Riemsdyk said. “Obviously their power play – I don’t know if they had, what, two or three on that, and that’s a big part of their success. But I think we played hard and responded in certain situations.

The Panthers played with the Flyers for the first 20 minutes, leading 4-0 with the last three goals in 5:18. Reinhart’s two goals were fired by Huberdeau – one was a redirect, the other was a blast which Hart saved but bounced through the air and ended up in the net after a baseball-style swing from Reinhart .

Verhaeghe’s goals were both from the right side of the high slot. It was the first time in nearly 22 years that two Panthers scored multiple goals in the same span. on April 5, 2000, Ray Whitney and Ray Sheppard each had two in the second period of Florida’s 6-3 victory over Boston.

“I wasn’t too good in the first one,” Hart said. “It’s a good hockey team. We know that.”

But a big hit and a bad result got Philadelphia going.

Scott Laughton of Philadelphia carried the puck into the zone and was checked by Petteri Lindbohm of Florida, a hard shot but looked clean and no penalty was called. Laughton ended up stepping into the boards and left on the ice, obviously hurt. He ended up leaving the game with what the Flyers called a head injury and did not return.

Konecny ​​went to Lindbohm – who was making his Panthers debut and first NHL appearance since 2017 – after the game and the two returned to major fights. That’s when the Flyers started hitting Florida where it hurt the most, scoring three goals in 10 minutes to go 4-3. Konecny ​​capped the flurry with 1:08 left in the second.

Duclair’s power-play score with 13:01 left gave Florida a two-goal lead again, and Reinhart got the empty goal with 2:06 left.

“There’s still a lot of hockey left,” Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette said. “Hopefully the numbers will continue as they are.”


Florida will play its next seven games on the road — across two trips. The Panthers open a four-game west swing Sunday in Los Angeles and travel to San Jose, Vegas and Anaheim. After six days of rest, a Canadian swing of three games and four nights awaits you from March 24 to 27 in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. The Panthers won’t be home until they face Montreal on March 29.

NOTES: Ekblad’s four assists were the best of his career. Huberdeau did it four times. … Jonathan India, a native of South Florida, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year for the Cincinnati Reds, was in attendance – the day baseball reached an agreement to end its lockout . … Verhaeghe has his second three-game streak of the season, and Thursday marked his 100th regular-season game with the Panthers. … Flyers captain Claude Giroux played his 997th game, all with Philadelphia. He could get No. 1,000 next Thursday at home against Nashville. … Flyers D Keith Yandle, a former Florida defenseman, played his 979th consecutive game to extend his NHL record.


Flyers: At Carolina on Saturday.

Panthers: in Los Angeles on Sunday night.


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AP Sports Editor

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