It’s been a rough couple of months for Stephen Weiss. After a tremendous start to the 2011-12 season that him piling up three-point nights at a astounding rate, the goals all but stopped coming. Following a two-goal night on 12/5 vs the Washington Capitals, Weiss endured a 31 game stretch that saw him score only two more times for the Florida Panthers. So it’s only fitting that on a night that saw the team honor him for becoming the franchise leader in games played that he broke out of his slump with a two-goal game, including the game-winner in 4-2 comeback win over the Montreal Canadiens Sunday night.
Things didn’t start out so rosy on this night. For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Panthers were staring down a 2-0 deficit. David Desharnais collected a loose puck in front of Scott Clemmensen and got the Habs on the board at 4:27 in the first. At 6:55, PK Subban would make the Panthers pay with a snipe from the slot during a 5-on-3. to put the Cats in a 2-0 hole. Weiss’ first tally at 11:36, a rebound off a Keaton Ellerby slapshot, gave the Panthers a much needed jolt of energy. It was a great effort goal as Weiss outworked two Habs to get into position in front of the net and elevated the puck over Peter Budaj right pad.
Sean Bergenheim pulled the Panthers back level with a power play goal from a sharp angle shot from the left that handcuffed Budaj just 1:09 into the second and they didn’t look back. Weiss would net what would become the game winner when he’d scoop up yet another rebound three minutes later, once again outworking a Habs defenseman to get prime position for a rebound.
Brian Campbell would close out the scoring with a slapshot from just inside the blue line midway through the third period. Weiss and Bergenheim capped three point nights by picking up the assists on the goal that effectively put the game out of reach for the Cats
You have to like how the Panthers have responded following a disastrous four game home stand that saw them garner only one point out of right. Not only to win the past two games but to do so by coming back from a two-goal deficit when they could’ve just as easily folded up their tents. Also great to see Weiss get back in the scoring ledger after having gone the previous eleven games without a goal. They weren’t pretty goals but it’s great to see him go to the dirty areas for goals when his shot is working for him. If Weiss can get his game going to where it was earlier in the season, the Panthers playoff push is going to be a lot stronger. It’s been a rough stretch but maybe he’s ready to break back out and give the Panthers some of the goals they desire.
You can see some post game with Weiss along with Kevin Dineen and Scott Clemmensen on The Rat Trick’s You Tube page.
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