Panthers visit Flyers aiming to build off marathon win

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers needed to go an NHL-record 20 rounds to pick up a shootout victory the last time out and they'll try to carry some momentum from that exciting victory into Thursday's tilt in Philadelphia.

The Panthers beat the visiting Washington Capitals by a 2-1 count on Tuesday. The game featured a total of two goals through 65 minutes, but the clubs combined to hit the net 11 times in the shootout phase. Both teams went through their entire lineup once, with the Capitals grabbing the lead five times only to see Florida answer on its last shot.

Nick Bjugstad eventually won the contest for Florida in the 20th round after Washington star Alex Ovechkin missed the net on the previous attempt. Bjugstad got Braden Holtby to bite on a backhand deke before burying a wrister into the right corner of the net.

Tuesday's epic battle surpassed the previous shootout record of 15 rounds between the New York Rangers and Washington on Nov. 26, 2005, which the Rangers won.

Derek MacKenzie scored in the first period and Roberto Luongo stopped 23 shots for the Panthers through regulation and OT.

"I don't know how many times guys scored to bail me out and keep me alive, but they did it," said Luongo. "Probably half of those goals I was beat, but the guys either hit the post or missed the net, so I'll take it."

Florida follows up the thrilling win with a two-game tour of Pennsylvania. After visiting the Flyers tonight, the Panthers will head west across the Keystone State for Saturday's test in Pittsburgh.

The Panthers, who are 6-4-6 as the road team, will then end December on a four-game homestand. The residency begins Monday against the Penguins in the finale of a home-and-home series.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, is hoping to end its four-game homestand with a win tonight. The Flyers are 2-1-0 during the stay at Wells Fargo Center and will head out on an eight-game road trip following Thursday's test.

The Flyers won the first two tests on the homestand before dropping Tuesday's 3-1 decision against Tampa Bay. Philadelphia was only able to get one puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 23 shots to earn the win in his NHL debut.

Wayne Simmonds scored the only goal in the loss, posting a power-play goal late in the opening period.

Steven Stamkos tied the game for Tampa early in the second period and Tyler Johnson delivered the eventual game-winner later in the period. Valtteri Filppula added an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation to seal the win.

"They're always sound defensively. They have a lot of players on that team that can skate well," Simmonds said of the Lightning. "They check well in the defensive zone. It was a tight game. We've just got to find a way to get on the other side of one-goal games like that."

Steve Mason made 20 stops in a losing effort for the Flyers, who fell to 8-5-2 as the home team this season. Philadelphia is just 3-9-3 on the road, where the club will find itself for over two weeks after tonight.

The Flyers and Panthers have split two meetings this season -- with each team winning on home ice -- and the clubs will complete the season series tonight. Philadelphia has claimed three of five overall and has taken the last two encounters in the City of Brotherly Love.

Mason owns a 7-2-0 record and 1.55 goals against average in nine career outings against Florida. Luongo is 6-8-2 with a 3.12 GAA in 18 lifetime appearances versus the Flyers.