For the first time since last Saturday, the Florida Panthers scored a goal. In fact, they scored two goals! The problem is that the Buffalo Sabres scored four en route to handing the Cats their fourth straight loss.
Sergei Samsonov broke the Panthers goal drought off a backhander at 4:01 in the first period, which tied the game. Jason Pominville had already given the Sabres the lead at 1:23 by sticking a rebound past Tomas Vokoun. Florida entered the third only down 2-1, but Buffalo broke the game wide open with a pair of goals midway through the period, one of them by former Panther Jordan Leopold. Evgeny Dadonov added a meaningless goal with three seconds left to make the score a somewhat more respectable 4-2.
With the loss, the Panthers are officially eliminated from the playoffs for a 10 consecutive season, a NHL record for futility. I’m still a believer that things are going to get better with this regime in place, but this is still more egg to wipe off the faces of Panthers fans. To ‘celebrate’ the milestone, George Richards of the Miami Herald is having a photoshop contest. Check it out here.
Some news and notes from the game:
– David Booth left the game after being struck in the throat by the puck in the first period. He was taken to an area hospital, checked and released. He was cleared to travel with the team to Pittsburgh.
– Stephen Weiss returned to lineup after a two game absence. Depending on who you talk to, he might be sitting another game or two out involuntarily for his hit on Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad. I missed the hit live and can’t seem to find it anywhere on the net so I’m just going by what I’ve read about it from both sides. If you have a link, post it!
– Jack Skille and Shawn Matthias, both recently back from injuries, were scratched from last night’s game. Patrick Rissmiller was recalled from Rochester, which, for the Panthers’ sake, is only about an hour away.
Check out Sabre Noise for their recap of the game.
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