Rick Di Pietro. Source: Canadian Press

The Moon Was Super. The Shootout Wasn't.

Today’s music selection is The Killing Moon by Echo and The Bunnymen.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  The Florida Panthers and their old ways showed up last night as they lost a lead in the third period and saw the game end in a shootout loss to the New York Islanders.  I hate shootouts.  Have I told you that before?  I don’t think a game should be decided by two players after it took 20 on each team to get there.  This isn’t tennis.  Enough on that.

The game started very slowly and was mistake filled.  Or should I say sloppy.  The first period ended tied at 0 with a total of 14 shots on goal.  It was the Panthers 27th one goal loss of the season. Nothing to be excited about.  Maybe it was the “Super Moon”.  Not even these guys could get things going:

Gumby At The Panthers Game. Source: My Cell Phone.

The Panthers took a 2-1 lead into the third period but Rick Di Pietro making his first start in six weeks won for the first time in Florida since 2006.  He was sharp when he needed to be, and kept his team in the game, through the shootout.  Di Pietro made 30 saves, many of which seemed to be challenging for him.  To me he looked rusty at times, and was shaky here and there, but held on ultimately for the win.  After the Islanders scored on two shootout attempts to ice the game, Di Pietro jumped into the arms of his teammates to celebrate the win.  The shootout goals were scored by Frans Nielson and P.A. Parenteau, as both Mike Santorelli and Sergei Samsonov of the Florida Panthers were denied.

Michael Grabner opened the scoring for New York as he scored his 30th goal of the season on a giveaway by Dmitry Kulikov ,which resulted in a two on one with Sergei Samsonov desperately trying to back check.  Michael Haley and P.A. Parenteau scored the other two goals for the Isles.  From my seat Kulikov seems to be making some mental mistakes lately .  Ones that are becoming costly.  Not only poor decisions with passing and clearing attempts, but his positioning is causing him to take some penalties that have put the Panthers in dire straits at times.  Frustrating as that has been to watch, Dmitry had what I think is his first NHL fight, taking on Blake Comeau in the third period.

The story of the night for the Panthers however was the return of gifted forward Evgeny Dadonov, who returned after missing action with a broken finger.  Daddy(nov) scored two goals, and easily could have had three or maybe even four had it not been for Di Pietro.  Geno looked fast and was certainly ready for action.  His skating and stick handling ability is an ingredient that the Panthers had been missing, and who knows what may have been had he not gone down with an injury when he did.  It’s good to have Daddy Geno (?) back.  On one of his goals, George Richards from the Miami Herald tweeted something about a Russian Hat Trick, as Dadonov was assisted by Sergei Samsonov and Dmitry Kulikov.  Get it?

David Booth was awarded a penalty shot early in overtime, but Di Pietro easily turned that shot away. Scott Clemmensen who started his second consecutive game had some goals scored on him that he’d probably want back.  Especially the shootout ones.  Again, I hate the shootout.  I know it was implemented to give fans a “rush” and to have players show off their skills.  But when it comes to tie breakers in deciding playoff positioning it’s the last thing to be considered.  On top of it, it will never appear in the playoffs.  So get rid of it.

Here’s the TSN boxscore.

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Tags: Evgeny Dadonov Florida Panthers Gumby Michael Grabner New York Islanders Rick Di Pietro Scott Clemmensen Super Moon

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