Sunday afternoon the Florida Panthers took on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a matinee that for some reason didn’t make it on NBC’s calender. so it goes. Anywho, the Panthers faced a Penguins team that was without it’s two star players, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. And from what I have read (since I did not watch), the Panthers put up a good fight and held it together for 65 minutes.
But the obvious and continued struggles of goal scoring kept the Panthers from winning this game. Out shooting the Penguins 326 t0 24 37 to 24, they were only able to get one puck past Marc Andre Fleury. Ryan Carter who continues to play as though he wants to be here next season, picked up his second goal as a Panther giving them the lead. That goal was followed up by Penguin Ben Lovejoy to tie the game at one, which is how it stayed till the end of regulation and five minutes of overtime.
At the end of overtime Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who turned in another solid performance went directly to the dressing room and did not come back for the shootout. It was later discovered that Vokoun had tweaked his back and could not return. He was replaced by backup Scott Clemmensen who gave up goals to Alexei Kovalev and James Neal.
The loss was Florida’s fifth in a row as they now sit one point out of the 15th spot in the Eastern Conference ahead of Ottawa who they play here in Sunrise this coming Thrusday. Get your tickets for that one as it promises to be a real barn burner. Pete DeBoer had this to say after the game (taken from the Miami Herald):
“That’s about as good a road game as we can play as a group,’’ DeBoer said. “We limited their opportunities. We had chances, but I don’t think we penetrated enough around their net like we needed to. Our fourth line got us a goal, but we couldn’t find a way to get another one. That’s when you lose points.’’
As you can see DeBoer is in full teaching mode here as the season winds down. Not about to bring down the hammer in a losing effort, he’s obviously looking for the silver lining as the Panthers continue to fall in the standings.
Notes: Jack “Crash” Skille and Shawn Matthias both were not dressed for the second consecutive game after they both re-injured their ankles.
* The Panthers have scored a total of five goals in four road games. Hey Mr. Knowsnothing, still think that goaltending is our problem?
* Stephen Weiss who played his second game in a row after missing two games with a leg injury led all forwards in minutes, but was held scoreless again. I’m about to take some flak here, but really, he’s not that much of a difference maker when he’s not in the lineup, so can we please not put any more emphasis on the won loss record of when he plays and when he doesn’t. This team needs all 18 skates, whoever they are to play hard each and every night. If we’re waiting for one player like this to take us to the promised land, the wait will be very long.
Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.
Final note. Fellow writer Josh Luecht got his name mentioned by George Richards by finding a photo of Scott Clemmensen that George used on his blog, On Frozen Pond. Nice going Josh!
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