Robert Esche made 27 saves to get his first shutout of the season, leading the Flyers to a 4-0 win over the Panthers on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia completed a four-game season sweep of the Panthers but the previous three were all decided by one goal late in the game. Two were in overtime, one a shootout, and the other was decided with less than 4 seconds to play.
“We played a solid sixty minutes tonight,” said Esche, whose last shutout was on March 20, 2004. “Tonight we put everything together. I didn’t have to do much, the guys were awesome. It looked like a real Flyers game.”
Philadelphia snapped a six-game road losing streak while beating the Panthers for the ninth time at Florida. The loss broke a three-game winning streak for Florida.
Carter made it 4-0 when he took a pass from Umberger in the right circle and beat McLennan on the glove side at 13:21 of the third period.
“I think it was great for us to get a lead right away,” Philadelphia center Peter Forsberg said. “We put the pressure on them and they got frustrated.”
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead at 3:38 of the first. Gagne took the puck in the right circle and fired a shot over Luongo’s shoulder.
Nedved’s goal in the second gave Philadelphia a two-goal advantage. Nedved got the puck at center ice and came in on a breakaway. He faked a backhand that made Luongo drop low then flipped the puck past him on the stick side.
“I was able to sneak in between the defensemen,” Nedved said. “I was able to get real close to (Luongo).”
Philadelphia stretched it to 3-0 at 14:57 of the second period. Umberger took a shot from the right circle that went by the right side of Luongo, who was screened on the play.
“We got behind the eight ball and against a team like that it’s tough to catch up,” said Panthers forward Jon Sim, who was traded to Florida by the Flyers on January 23.
“We’ve played some good games for 45 or 50 minutes,” Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Tonight we played 60 minutes.”
The Flyers have posted nine wins and a tie at Florida since Jan. 17, 2000. … The Flyers have won three of seven since the Olympic break. …The Flyers hadn’t won in regulation since Feb. 10 against Washington.