The Flyers' point streak is over.
Listless for two periods, they awoke in the final 20 minutes Tuesday but it wasn't enough as they dropped a 2-1 decision to Florida at the Wells Fargo, ending their six-game points streak (5-0-1).
The Panthers, who survived a wild scramble in front of their net in the waning seconds, extended their winning streak to five.
The theme coming out of the Flyers' locker room room: You can't win by playing only one good period.
"The intensity wasn't up to what we need it to be," said goalie Brian Elliott after stopping 28 of 30 shots. "I thought we brought it in the third period, but it's a little late."
Jake Voracek scored from deep inside the the right circle, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Oskar Lindblom and getting the Flyers within 2-1 with 16 minutes, 5 seconds left in regulation. In the next minute, Voracek had two more golden chances as the Flyers finally applied pressure on 39-year-old goalie Roberto Luongo, who barely had to work up a sweat in the first two periods.
"If we play [the game] like we did in the third period, we're going to win," Lindblom said. "But we didn't, so we have to take that into the next game and have a better start."
With 12:47 remaining, Lindblom sent a shot off the right post after defenseman Christian Folin broke up a two-on-one down the other end and the Flyers broke down the ice.
"I thought I had him," Lindblom said. "Unlucky today, but that's the way it is,"
The Flyers had just 14 shots over the first 40 minutes and didn't force Luongo to make any difficult saves. But they regrouped and had 14 shots in the first 13 minutes of the third period.
Elliott has been nearly flawless lately, but defenseman Aaron Ekblad banked a doorstep rebound off the goaltender's blocker and into the net for a power-play goal with 11:45 left in the second period, putting the Panthers ahead, 1-0.
Going back to the West Coast trip, Elliott had made 73 straight saves before allowing the goal. It marked the first time the Flyers had surrendered the initial goal in the last seven games.
It also marked the 10th time in the last 11 games the Flyers had given up at least one power-play goal. Struggling defenseman Ivan Provorov was in the penalty box for tripping Nick Bjugstad when Ekblad scored.
"I don't think it was a penalty; we both went skates into skates," Provorov said after Florida avenged last month's 6-5 shootout loss. "I just fell first and he tripped over me. That was a bad call."
Elliott made a terrific save on the initial shot, but Ekblad controlled the rebound at the left side of the net and scored his first goal of the season. Mike Hoffman set up the goal, giving him points in 13 straight games, tying Pavel Bure's franchise record and giving him the NHL's longest scoring streak this season.
Elliott, who had a 1.32 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in his previous five games, was beaten by Evgenii Dadonov's high drive from the top of the right circle with 2:25 to go in the second, giving the Panthers a 2-0 edge. Dadonov, a left winger who has points in 12 consecutive games, faked a pass and put the shot between the legs of Folin, who screened Elliott.
"He cut back into the middle and I should have done a better job with my stick," Folin said. "But he got it through me and I made it a hard save for him. Obviously he's a good player and shouldn't be allowed that much time and space."
Florida had 10 of the last 11 shots in a scoreless first period, but Elliott had all the answers. In the final four-plus minutes of the first, he made quality saves on Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Hoffman, and Keith Yandle.
"We definitely didn't play our game the first two periods," captain Claude Giroux said. "We know we can play better…..We have to be ready to battle 60 minutes, not just 20."