Noah Cates ends goal drought, lifts Flyers over Panthers

Noah Cates scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Philadelphia Flyers snapped their season-worst, five-game losing streak, defeating the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Tuesday night in Sunrise, Fla.

It was just the second goal of the season for Cates and his first since Oct. 24.

Flyers goalie Samuel Ersson, who has been elevated to starter since Carter Hart left the team and was charged with sexual assault, made 20 saves for the win.

Travis Konecny, fresh off his second All-Star appearance, also scored for the Flyers.

Philadelphia also got good news in the return of forward Owen Tippett, who had missed four straight games due to a lower-body injury. His return came against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2017. Tippett is second on the Flyers with 18 goals.

Carter Verhaeghe scored for the Panthers, who had their four-game winning streak broken.

Florida backup goalie Anthony Stolarz made 23 saves. The team’s No. 1 goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, was rested.

Panthers captain and two-time All-Star Aleksander Barkov, who hasn’t scored a goal since Dec. 16, hit the right post in the first period. He has gone 17 straight games without a goal.

Florida opened the scoring on a power-play goal with 9:22 gone in the first period. After a tripping penalty on Philadelphia’s Nick Seeler, Verhaeghe took advantage, picking up a loose puck and skating into the left circle before firing the puck over Ersson’s stick, just under the crossbar.

The Flyers tied the score on Konecny’s goal with 13:33 expired in the second. Two terrific passes led to the goal. First, Sean Walker whipped a long stretch pass to Joel Farabee, who chipped the puck ahead. Konecny did the rest, moving to his left while shooting to his right, beating Stolarz in the process.

Philadelphia took its first lead on Cates’ goal with 17:24 left in the third. The goal was set up by a turnover in his own end by Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling. Cates picked up the loose puck and fought off Aaron Ekblad and Forsling before scoring from the slot.

From there, the Flyers played tight defense.