Led by forward Radek Dvorak’s three goals and Tomas Vokoun’s glove, stick and pads, the Florida Panthers handed the Pittsburgh Penguins their fifth consecutive loss in a game that took such an odd turn, you never would have predicted it.
The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 in the first period on goals by Tyler Kennedy and Cindy Crosbitch, and seemed well on their way to ending their losing skid. The Penguins seemingly played most of the first period in the Panthers’ zone, taking virtually any offensive chances away from Florida, as the Panthers spent the first eighteen and a half minutes finding their legs, arms and brains.
With just over a minute left in the first, defenceman Jordan Leopold scored the first of six unanswered goals, as Florida apparently found out that when you shoot the puck good things happen, and spent the balance of the game scoring on the confused and frustrated Pittsburgh Penguins. Thus extending the Pens losing streak to five, and halting their own streak at three.
Radek Dvorak who had a hat trick, and now has nine goals on the year, had a brilliant game. He was all over the ice and took advantage of all his scoring opportunities. The Panthers also got goals from Rusty and Rhino to finally take some of the pressure off of the first line of Weiss, Horton and Frolik, who while having no goals, combined for four assists and had nine shots.
Tomas Vokoun earned his money last night stopping 46 shots, and a ton of quality scoring chances. At one point after a flurry of shots against, he skated over to the bench during the stoppage of play, hunched over, tired, and surely wondering how the hell he was surviving the onslaught. He was not named one of the three stars of the game, and that was indeed a surprise. No matter how many goals Florida scored, they could easliy ahve lost this one 7-6 if not for Vokoun.
So, the inconsistency appears again. During a game that started out with the looks of another disappointment, the Panthers scraped and clawed their way to victory. Showed some charachter and some resolve, and were able to beat the defending Cup champs for the first time this season.
I do have to say one thing about a Penguin fan. And I have noticed this before as well. I have no problem with people coming into a building as a visitor and rooting for their team. As long as you’re not obnoxious about it and don’t act like a jerk, it’s fine with me. Although growing up and attending games at the Chicago Stadium, you were pretty much a target for a beating if you showed up with the opponent’s sweater on, but we’re in another era now. Anyway, after the game was over, there are sometimes a group of Panther fans that gather together and chant “Let’s Go Panthers for awhile”. Ok, why not right? Well a Penguin fan of the female persuassion was walking out and took a look at the celebration and flipped the “bird” to the group. As she turned away, she happened to make eye contact with me, and I quickly said in a voice that I know she heard, “You have No Class”. Quit Cryin’ like your captain”.
You all know how much I HATE the Penguins. She solidifed it for me. Oh, by the way, she was sportin’ a Crosbitch sweater too.
It’s on to Toronto Tuesday night, where they’ve been hit with some injuries. Preview coming Tuesday.
Thank goodness the virus is gone. Took my tech guy most of the day to get rid of it, but thankfully it’s gone. So it’s back to normal starting tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.
One quick note. Looks like David Booth’s return is a huge question mark. While coach Peter DeBoer did not say he’s not out for the year, he did say something to the effect that “he’s a wild card factor right now”. Read into that what you will, but for my money, I don’t suspect well see Booth till March if at all. Quite frankly, if we aren’t in the playoff hunt I would really the question the option of bringing him back at all even if he’s completely healthy.
More one what to do now coming in a day or two.
Thanks for reading