Another game, another loss for the Florida Panthers who have wrung up their losing streak to five straight after submitting a lackluster performance in a 5-2 loss in Tampa Bay. The Panthers got goals from Peter Mueller and Tomas Fleischmann while Tampa had five goals scored by five different players including Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier.
Jose Theodore had a shaky game, stopping 28 out of the 33 shots he faced. Tampa Bay goalie, Anders Lindback stopped 26 of 28 on the way to picking up his fourth win of the season. The loss drops the Panthers to 1-5-0 while the Lightning improved to 5-1-0. Florida’s last and only win came in their first game, their home opener against the Carolina Hurricanes. In their five losses following the victory, the Panthers have been outscored 23-5 and their two points right now are last in the NHL.
Tampa on the other hand continues its hot start. The Lightning have now rattled off four straight W’s and lead the league with 29 goals scored to go along with their league best goal differential of +14.
The Panthers next opportunity to turn things around comes on Thursday when they will be hosting the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are currently 3-2-1 and occupy the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida will be looking to end their woeful January on a positive note. With each loss the Panthers suffer, the hole they must fight their way out of gets deeper and deeper, and this is especially true with the short season.
Post Game Points:
- Drew Shore has impressed in many ways but one area that has really stood out has been his face-offs. Shore followed up an 83.3% win rate (10-12) against the Flyers by winning 71% of his face-offs (12-17) last night against the Lightning.
- The two Panther goals were scored by familiar faces Peter Mueller and Tomas Fleischmann, who each tallied their second goals of the season. The last Panther other than those two to score was Tomas Kopecky on Jan 22nd against Montreal. If the Panthers are to win a game any time soon they are going to need to get production out of their entire offense not just two players.
- Jose Theodore let in a couple soft goals last night. While the first couple losses were not Theodore’s fault, he hasn’t been doing the Panthers any favors in their last two games. It will be nice to see what the team can do when the goaltending, offense and defense are all clicking on the same night. Maybe we could even see another win.