Florida Panthers Lose 2-1 To Montreal Canadians In Shootout


Before tonight’s game began, Jonathan Huberdeau‘s fourteen year-old sister Josiane took to the ice to sing Canada’s national anthem. Once she was done gracing her presence upon the sold-out crowd, her big brother skated over to congratulate her and gave her a kiss on the head. That moment was the beginning of many highlights that resulted into a hard-fought 2-1 shootout loss against the Montreal Canadians at the BB&T Center.

Game Breakdown

The atmosphere at the BB&T Center was electric in what ended up as a sold-out crowd of , the first of the season for the Florida Panthers. Based on the first thirty-eight minutes, the average fan would have expected the game to result in a scoreless affair through two periods, as both teams created a lot of scoring chances onto the opposing goaltenders. The Montreal Canadians turned up the pressure on the Panthers during the last five minutes of play and it resulted in a goal by Brendan Gallagher, as he skated into the zone and flicked a wicked wrist shot that went in between Roberto Luongo‘s five-hole and into the back of the net as Gallagher scored his eleventh goal of the season to give the Montreal Canadians a one-goal lead heading into the third period.

The Panthers turned up the pressure during the third period, as the team played a hard-nosed twenty minutes of hockey and resulted in a tie game with just under two minutes remaining in regulation, as the Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad made a beautiful pass through two defenders to Nick Bjugstad, who then brought the puck to his forehand and shot it past an unguarded Dustin Tokarski to earn his thirteenth goal of the season to tie the game at one. In the final seconds of overtime, the Panthers’ Jimmy Hayes would have a chance to win the game, as he intercepted a Tokarski zone-clearing attempt and shot the puck just wide of the empty net and the game would go to the shootout.

While the Panthers have won their past four games that ended in the skills competition, the shootout kings would have a rough time finding the back of the net during this game. The shootout would go scoreless until Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, one of the best shootout scorers in the game, would find the back of the net against Luongo in the third round. Tokarski would stop all three of Florida’s shooters, as Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad, and Jonathan Huberdeau were all stopped easily to clinch the victory for the Montreal, as the Canadians would leave Sunrise with two huge points as they continue their road trip.

Rat Facts

  • During the second intermission, the Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie told Bill Lindsay of Fox Sports Florida that he did not feel like the team played their game during the second period and the team has to come out ready for the third period. And MacKenzie proved to be right, as the Panthers outshot Montreal 14-4 during the third period and capitalized on their final scoring chance towards the end of the third period.
  • In his first win since November 16th, Dustin Tokarski was faced with 37 shots and only allowed one goal as he was named the first star of the game. The Panthers failed to play a east-west game for most of this contest, as the Panthers failed to apply much pressure on the Montreal backup goaltender and that had a huge impact upon the end result.
  • Roberto Luongo remarkably stopped 33 of the 34 shots that he faced throughout this contest, as he was often forced to make the tough save at the right time. He was the sole reason why the Panthers received a point for their effort against one of the best teams in the league.
  • The “Ole’ Ole'” chants by the Canadians fans flew into the air prematurely, as the Panthers would tie the game only seconds after the chants were made with two minutes left in the period. I think that it’s safe to say that Nick Bjustad, who was born in Minnesota and scored the game-tying goal, did not take the chants so lightly.
  • The Panthers have now gone 2-0-1 so far on this four game home-stand for five out of a possible six points. Outstanding.

Next Up

The Florida Panthers will take on the New York Rangers on New Years Eve as the team hopes to finish off a remarkable home-stand that could end up as one of the best in franchise history. The team continues to pick up points throughout many of their games instead of obtaining regulation losses, as the Panthers are right in the middle of the playoff race.

What did you think of the game? Let us know in the comments below as your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.