It cost them their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and it almost cost them again as they fell behind 3-1 midway through the second period.
The difference in tonight’s game is that when the Florida Panthers gave themselves a chance to win by starting their comeback efforts sooner than the last minute of the game.
Quinton Howden’s second goal in as many nights pulled the game within one going into the third and then the Panthers reeled off three unanswered goal in the final frame to beat the New Jersey Devils by the score of 5-3.
Vincent Trocheck became the second player in as many nights to score his first career NHL goal – scoring on an empty net goal to seal the game. Brad Boyes scored the tying goal and Scottie Uspshall put the Panthers up for good, his 13th of the season.
The difference in tonight’s game? The Panthers ability to get pucks to the net, cause as much havoc as possible and score upon when the puck got loose in front of the net. Brian Campbell’s goal came when the puck trickled into open space while there was a pile up in front of the net.
Howden’s was a result of him going in front of the net, and Scott Gomez feeding him a pretty pass. What won’t show up on score sheet was Jonathan Huberdeau (he still got an assist) driving the net and taking up two defenders allowing Howden to get open in front of the net.
Of Huberdeau’s two assists on the net, you can find him planted in front of the net on both occasions, tied up with the Devils’ defenders.
The second period remains a problem for the Panthers, as tonight they were outshot 14-2 in the middle frame – all though they were able to make one of the two shots count, being outshot like that isn’t a habit you want to continue.
After scoring the tying goal on a turnover-turned-breakaway, Boyes wasn’t done – outworking Travis Zajac along the boards to win the puck battle, and got the puck to Upshall who walked the puck in before shooting it by Cory Schneider.
More times than not, the Panthers won’t be the more talented team on the ice – but as long as they worked hard in the corners and in front of the net, there is no reason they can’t stay in any game they play.
Trocheck on 1st NHL goal "It's definitely a weight off my shoulders, five games felt like an eternity to get that first one." #Flapanthers
— Jameson Cooper (@JamesonCoop) March 15, 2014
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