Voracek, Simmonds lift Flyers to sixth straight win

PHILADELPHIA -- With the Philadelphia Flyers in subpar form on Tuesday night, goalie Steve Mason made all the difference.

Mason made 42 saves and Jakub Voracek scored with 8.6 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Flyers to their sixth straight win, 3-2 over the Florida Panthers.
Wayne Simmonds had two goals for the Flyers, who are on their longest winning streak in five years.

Mason, who earned the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday, won his fifth straight start.

"We weren't clicking, we weren't the team with more energy, but in the end we found a way," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "The biggest thing is the saves we got. It was one of those nights where (Mason) was our best player."

Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen scored for Florida, which completed a six-game road trip with five losses although the Panthers picked up points in three of those defeats by losing in overtime.

Interim coach Tom Rowe was pleased with Florida's effort against the Flyers.

"It was amazing how we came at them," he said. "A lot of good stuff happened. I told the guys after the game that as frustrating as it is and as mad as some of you may be, there are too many positives here to get down."

Mason turned aside Florida's best chance in overtime when he denied Aaron Ekblad's slap shot from close range.

Simmonds notched his 28th multigoal game and second in two games when he deflected Claude Giroux's wrist shot past James Reimer for a 2-1 lead with 9:52 remaining in the second period. It was Simmonds' NHL-leading eighth power-play goal and snapped Florida's streak of penalty kills at 18.

"I'm playing with great linemates, great teammates," Simmonds said. "It's definitely not all me."

Mason kept Philadelphia ahead with his best save of the night six minutes into the third period when he robbed Jokinen with a sprawling glove save on a rebound chance from in close.

"I went down to my right there and made a desperation attempt to get anything on it," Mason said. "Fortunately, I was able to get the glove on it."

Jokinen finally beat Mason, tying the game at 2 with 4:46 remaining in the third with a wrist shot from just in front of the goal that went past Mason's glove.

"Overall, we played well," Jokinen said. "If we keep playing like we've been playing, we'll get lots of points."

Barkov put the Panthers ahead 1-0 with 4:20 remaining in the first period when he shot from just right of the Flyers goalie, giving the Panthers center nine points in his last 10 games.

Simmonds tied it 1 1/2 minutes later with a wrist shot from the high slot, a soft goal that got past backup goalie Reimer's glove. The score masked a dominant first period for the Panthers, who outshot Philadelphia 15-6 and might've gone to the break ahead if not for Mason's stellar play.

Reimer finished with 22 saves.

Florida defenseman Keith Yandle played in his 578th game a night after leaving in the first period with a lower-body injury. Yandle has the 10th longest games played streak ever, but it was thought to be in jeopardy after Rowe said Monday night that he expected Yandle to be out for a while.

"(Monday) night I thought he'd be out for a couple of weeks, but that shows you how tough he is mentally and physically," Rowe said. "It's great for the young kids to see that. It was a game where he could've mailed it in easily and nobody would've said a word, but that's the kind of teammate he is."

Game notes
Philadelphia improved to 6-3 in overtime while Florida dropped to 7-4. ... The Panthers were without C Jonathan Marchessault (lower body), who leads the club in goals (10) and points (19), for the second straight game. ... The teams wrap up their three-game season series on March 2 in Philadelphia. ... Flyers D Radko Gudas (illness) missed his third straight game. ... Flyers RW Matt Read (upper body) missed the first game of what's expected to be a monthlong absence. He was replaced by Taylor Leier, who was called up from Lehigh Valley of the AHL for his first NHL game of the season and seventh of his career. ... Florida, which lost 4-3 in overtime Monday night at Boston, dropped to 2-2 on the second game of a back-to-back. ... Philadelphia's winning streak is its best since seven straight victories Dec. 2-15, 2011.


Panthers: Begin a two-game homestand Thursday night against Pittsburgh.

Flyers: Play the middle contest of a three-game homestand against Edmonton on Thursday night.
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