The Florida Panthers lost 4-1 in Edmonton tonight to a suddenly red-hot Oiler team. The loss ends the Panthers two game win streak and brings their record to 2-2 on their current road trip. Florida wraps up the season-long trip tomorrow night with a game against the Calgary Flames.
The Oilers, who have now won three straight, came out fast against a Panther team that looked to be suffering from some heavy legs. Jordan Eberle scored a power play goal just 57 seconds into the game to give Edmonton the early lead. A second period goal from Sam Gagne followed by another power play goal, this time from David Perron, put the Oilers up 3-0.
At that point in the game, the Oilers were in the midst of a 14-0 run against their opponents a run that stretched back to a four goal third period on Saturday against the Flames. The Oilers followed up that impressive period in Calgary (a game which they won 4-2 by the way) by taking the Blue Jackets to the woodshed on Tuesday in a 7-0 laugher. The 14-0 run was finally stopped when Scottie Upshall managed to sneak a puck past Devan Dubnyk at 16:34 in the second period. Upshall now has four goals on the season, three of those goals have come against the Oilers. Aleksander Barkov (6) and Brad Boyes (3) had the assists on the goal.
The Panthers lost two players during the game tonight as Tomas Kopecky and Jesse Winchester both left the game with injuries. Kopecky went down midway through the first and slowly skated off the ice holding his arm. He did not return the rest of the game. Winchester was able to make it back on the ice after his injury but he did not play at all in the third period, hopefully that was just head coach Peter Horachek being cautious. We will have updates on both players as they become available.
The loss drops the Panthers record to 6-13-4 while the Oilers improve to 7-15-2. Tim Thomas started his seventh straight game since coming back from a lower body injury. He stopped 31 of 34 shots faced. With the Panthers playing again tomorrow night, it is a pretty safe bet that Florida starts Scott Clemmensen giving the 39-year-old Thomas the night off. Devan Dubnyk stopped 24 of 25 in net tonight for the Oilers.
The Panthers will have a shot at a winning road trip tomorrow night when they take on the Calgary Flames at 9:00 p.m. ET. Share your thoughts about the game in the comments section below and follow The Rat Trick on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest.