NHL Game Summary - Florida at Philadelphia
(Tuesday, April 7th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 2, Florida 1
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jeff Carter scored the game-winner early in the third period, as the Philadelphia Flyers locked up a playoff berth by edging Florida, 2-1, at Wachovia Center.
"This year we've had a lot of guys in and out of the lineup, and a lot of guys have stepped up in different situations," said Flyers captain Mike Richards about the club, which didn't wait until the final weekend to clinch a playoff berth as they did a season ago. "The list goes on, and it was a team effort to get this far."
Joffrey Lupul picked up the other goal for the Flyers, who have won two of three and earned their third trip to the postseason in the last four seasons. Coupled with the Hurricanes' rout of the Islanders, Philly and Carolina are still deadlocked for the fourth seed at 97 points. The Flyers have one game in hand on the Hurricanes, however.
Martin Biron made 29 stops for the win, his 28th of the season.
Brett McLean provided the lone offense for the Panthers, who have dropped two of three and slipped into ninth place in the East, two points behind New York after the Rangers topped Montreal.
Tomas Vokoun was strong in the loss with 28 saves.
"We played a hell of a hockey game. We can't play much better than that," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "It's tough to walk away without anything to show for it."
Carter put the Flyers ahead at the 7:32 mark of the third period, hitting the net from a sharp angle along the goal line with a shot that appeared to trickle through a small space between the left post and Vokoun's equipment.
Philadelphia's defense was able to clamp down with the lead, allowing just five Panther shots over the final 20 minutes.
Vokoun was called to the bench for an extra attacker with 1:14 to play, and the only time Biron was tested came with 10 seconds left, as he was quick to stop a backhander by David Booth by closing his pads.
"Sometimes you can play games, win games and feel a little bit like we squeaked by," Biron said. "Today we played the way we wanted to play against a team that was desperate and to hold them to five shots in the third period...that was the way we needed to close things out."
Florida picked up the first goal of the contest. Michael Frolik beat a Flyers defenseman to a dump-in and dished into the slot for McLean for a glove-side wrister exactly 4 1/2 minutes into the second period.
Lupul was credited with the tying goal with 4:15 to play in the second. Matt Carle carried to the goal line on the right wing and dished into the crease, where the puck hit Lupul's skate, clipped the left post and settled in.
Carter has 12 game-winning tallies on the year, tops in the NHL, and also moved into second place in the NHL's goal-scoring race, one ahead of Devils forward Zach Parise who was blanked in Toronto's 4-1 win...The clubs split four meetings this season...Philly defenseman Ryan Parent suffered a groin injury in the second period and did not return...Flyers forward Riley Cote was lost for the remainder of the season following surgery on his right ring finger on Tuesday.
04/07 23:04:32 ET