Sim­monds, Ma­son guide Fly­ers past Pan­thers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bill White­head

SUN­RISE, FLA. >> Steven Ma­son made 38 saves and Wayne Sim­monds had a goal and an as­sist, help­ing the Philadel­phia Fly­ers beat the Florida Pan­thers 3-1 on Tues­day night.

Nick Cousins and Dale Weise also scored for the Fly­ers, and rookie Travis Konecny and Bray­den Schenn had as­sists.

Reilly Smith scored for the Pan­thers, who got 25 stops from Roberto Luongo.

The loss spoiled the re­turn of Florida for­ward Nick Bjugstad, who had missed all of this sea­son af­ter an in­jury in the pre­sea­son. The 24-year-old Bjugstad re­turned fol­low­ing a 19-game ab­sence af­ter break­ing a bone in his hand in Dal­las just be­fore the sea­son be­gan.

Sim­monds grabbed a loose puck in the first pe­riod fol­low­ing a face­off in Philadel­phia’s de­fen­sive zone, beat­ing de­fense­man Yan­dle for pos­ses­sion.

Sim­monds raced in on a 2-on-1, kept the puck and sniped a shot over Luongo for a 1-0 lead and his tenth goal at 11:11.

Weise added his first goal this sea­son, a power-play tally, at 13:03 of the sec­ond. Konecy col­lected the puck and fired a shot from the left cir­cle on Luongo and the re­bound was back­handed into the open net by Weise to fin­ish off the 2-on-1 break for a 2-0 lead.

Sim­monds helped in­crease the lead in the third pe­riod when he slid a pass over to Cousins, who beat Luongo for an­other power-play goal and his third this sea­son at 7:04.

Smith broke up Ma­son’s shutout bid when he de­flected in Marches­sault’s shot at 18:09 for his fourth goal.

Bjugstad, who has played cen­ter through­out his ca­reer, played right wing in­stead in his re­turn.

Philadel­phia for­ward Sean Cou­turier left the ice at 1:40 of the sec­ond pe­riod af­ter get­ting tan­gled with Vin­cent Trocheck and fall­ing to the ice. Cou­turier was helped off the ice by a mem­ber of the train­ing staff and team­mate Claude Giroux. He didn’t re­turn.

NOTES: The game was the first of the Fly­ers’ two-game Florida swing. Philadel­phia en­tered the game 2-3-0 in the first game and 4-0-1 in the sec­ond of back-to-backs . ... The Fly­ers scratched LW Ro­man Lyu­bi­mov and de­fense­men Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz. .. Pan­thers D Keith Yan­dle played in his 571st con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar sea­son game, push­ing him past Mark Rec­chi into 11th on the NHL’s iron man list . ... D Alex Petro­vic (bro­ken an­kle) is ex­pected to miss two months af­ter block­ing a shot on Thurs­day in the Pan­thers’ 6-1 loss to Toronto . ... Florida scratched D Dy­lan McIl­rath, C Seth Grif­fith and LW Shawn Thorn­ton.

LYNNE SLADKY — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wayne Sim­monds’ shot gets past Florida Pan­thers goalie Roberto Luongo for a first-pe­riod goal in the Fly­ers’ 3-1 win Tues­day.

LYNNE SLADKY — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Fly­ers goalie Steve Ma­son makes a save dur­ing the third pe­riod against the Florida Pan­thers on Tues­day.

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