‘Such a rare thing’: Panthers’ Reinhart scores 50th

'Such a rare thing': Panthers' Reinhart scores 50th

PHILADELPHIA — Sam Reinhart scored two goals to reach 50 on the season, Brandon Montour added three assists and the Florida Panthers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Carter Verhaeghe also scored for the Panthers, who tied the Boston Bruins with 97 points atop the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division. Florida will host the Bruins on Tuesday night.

Both teams were playing the second games of a back-to-back and used their backup goaltenders. Philadelphia defeated Boston 3-2 on Saturday while the Panthers lost 4-3 in a shootout at the Rangers. Anthony Stolarz made 32 saves for the Panthers while Philadelphia’s Felix Sandstrom allowed three goals on 14 shots.

The Panthers, who entered leading the East and third in the NHL with a plus-55 goal differential, scored the lone goals in the first and second periods to take a 2-0 lead into the third.

Reinhart put Florida on the board with his first of the day 10:34 into the first, breaking free in the slot and shooting a wrister off Sandstrom and into the net. He reached his milestone tally with 1:12 remaining into an empty net. Reinhart entered third in the NHL in goals, trailing Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews by 10. He also had an assist.

Both Reinhart and Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman gained on Matthews Sunday. In a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators, Hyman scored his 50th, off assists from Connor McDavid and Evan Bouchard. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, this is the fifth time over the last 30 seasons — and first time since 2001 — that multiple players scored their 50th goal of the season on the same day.

“Such a rare thing in a player’s career,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said of Reinhart’s milestone. “That puts you in elite class. There are very few people’s names who score 50 that you don’t know. They’re superstars. We’re just so fortunate to have him.”

Reinhart is just the second player in Panthers’ franchise history to reach the half-century mark. Former All-Star forward Pavel Bure landed at 59 in the 2000-01 season.

“Very cool,” Reinhart said of the feat. “It’s obviously a number I’ve never really thought about.”

The Panthers went in front 2-0 just 55 seconds into the second with a power-play tally when Tarasenko beat Sandstrom from the circle.

Stolarz stood tall in the second when Philadelphia made a strong push to get on the board. The Panthers goalie also got some good fortune, as Philadelphia center Sean Couturier beat him with a backhander that went off the crossbar.

It was Couturier’s second straight game back in the lineup after Philadelphia’s captain was a healthy scratch by coach John Tortorella for two consecutive outings.

Bobby Brink scored for the Flyers in the loss.

“I thought we played really well,” said Flyers coach John Tortorella, whose club remains in the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. “We can build off the whole game.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.