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Florida
Panthers
35-31-16
Philadelphia
Flyers
22-48-12

game recap

Panthers 2, Flyers 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers 2, Flyers 1
Florida Panthers 2, Philadelphia Flyers 1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Chris Gratton's mistake turned into the game-winner for the Florida Panthers.

Gratton got credit for a fluke tiebreaking goal early in the third period to lead the Panthers past the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Thursday.

Gratton, who also had an assist, was credited with the unassisted goal that broke a 1-1 tie at 1:43 of the period when Flyers goaltender Martin Biron's clearing attempt bounced off the right shin pad of Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones back into the net.

Philadelphia's Scotty Upshall said that it was a weird way to lose a game.

"That was the hockey gods tonight," Upshall said. "That might happen once every 50 years or something like that."

"It was actually a bad dump on my part," Gratton said. "I gave it right to Marty. He's pretty good at moving the puck. I knew he wanted to make a quick up and the defenseman just happened to be caught in the middle.

"It was an unfortunate bounce but we wanted to try and get two points out of this game. It was a big game for us."

"I guess I was looking ahead of Jones," Biron said. "I wanted to go up to our winger near the red line. I tried to get it up there. It couldn't have bounced more perfect for them."

Ville Peltenon also scored for the Panthers, who have won six of their past seven games.

"When you're working hard and playing better, you get those bounces," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "Some nights you need that. It's part of the game."

Dimitry Afanasenkov scored for the Flyers, who have dropped two straight.

Florida goaltender Ed Belfour made 26 saves for his 21st win. His best stop came midway through the second period when he slid across the goal mouth to deny Jeff Carter's point-blank shot. He preserved the lead with a glove save on a hard shot by Simon Gagne with 1:32 left in the third period.

"We've been getting all-star goaltending," Gratton explained. "Eddie has been playing unbelievable for us the whole year. He's been our best player night in and night out.

"When you have a 40-year-old guy doing that, it motivates guys and you want to win for him because he's such a competitor."

Belfour is 8-2-2 in his past 12 starts.

Biron, making his fourth straight start for the Flyers, stopped 35 shots.

Afanasenkov put the Flyers ahead at 1:55 of the second period with a brilliant move. Skating from behind the net, he scored his ninth goal on a backhanded wraparound shot that sailed past Belfour's glove.

Florida tied it 1:20 later when Peltonen's shot from left of the slot glanced off the far post into the net. It was his 13th goal of the season.

Notes: The Flyers failed on six power-play opportunities and are 2-for-39 in the past nine games . ...They are 5-for-52 with the man advantage in the 11 games since Peter Forsberg was traded . ...Philadelphia has won only six home games, the fewest in the NHL. ... The Panthers, who finished a two-game road trip, are 8-2-2 in their past 12 games. ... Philadelphia RW Upshall and D Lasse Kukkonen hit the post in the second period.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
01:55
PHI
Dimitri Afanasenkov (9) ASST: Mike York (11), Braydon Coburn (5)
1 - 0 PHI
03:15
FLA
Ville Peltonen (13) ASST: Chris Gratton (16)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
01:43
FLA
Chris Gratton (12) ASST: NONE
2 - 1 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
00:59
FLA
Ruslan Salei  Hooking against  Simon Gagne
05:17
PHI
Jeff Carter  Slashing against  Rostislav Olesz
09:09
PHI
R.J. Umberger  Hooking against  Martin Gelinas
09:15
FLA
Olli Jokinen  Holding against  Simon Gagne
12:07
PHI
Geoff Sanderson  Holding against  Steve Montador
19:06
FLA
Juraj Kolnik  Tripping against  Sami Kapanen
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
01:56
FLA
Mike Van Ryn  Tripping against  Mike Richards
06:16
FLA
Alexei Semenov  Roughing against  Lasse Kukkonen
06:16
FLA
Alexei Semenov  Fighting (maj) against  Todd Fedoruk
06:16
PHI
Todd Fedoruk  Fighting (maj) against  Alexei Semenov
06:16
PHI
Darren Reid  Roughing against  David Booth
08:32
FLA
Steve Montador  Interference against  Sami Kapanen
11:52
FLA
Chris Gratton  Tripping against  Mike York
goalie stats
Ed Belfour
SA: 27TOI: 59:57
Saves: 26EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .963SH: 1 - 1
Martin Biron
Martin Biron
SA: 37TOI: 58:28
Saves: 35EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .946SH: 5 - 5