Florida Panthers drop third game in a row, lose to Penguins 4-3

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 20: Conor Sheary
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 20: Conor Sheary /

After a strong start to the game, the Florida Panthers couldn’t contain the offensive firepower of the Pittsburgh Penguins and fell 4-3.

After the Panthers were destroyed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, the Cats found themselves facing off against the ever-dangerous Pittsburgh Penguins on a Friday night in Sunrise. Although Roberto Luongo had a difficult game in Philly, the Panthers once again rolled with him in the net against Matt Murray.

As very few would have expected, Florida got off to a blistering start. They controlled most of the first half of the first period and found a way to pot two goals. The first one was a lucky bounce by Jamie McGinn and the second was a snipe by Aleksander Barkov. As play continued in the first period, though the Panthers were up, the tide began to slowly shift in the Penguins favor.

The Panthers for the first time this season had the lead heading into the second period, but it didn’t last very long. Just minutes into the 2nd period, the Penguins struck with a power play goal by Evgeni Malkin:

Although the Panthers still had the lead, it would not last long as the Penguins once again struck quickly again courtesy of Carter Rowney; tying the game up at 2-2:

After the Pens tied the game up, things started the calm down and it seemed as if both teams were playing evenly. The Panthers had a power play but failed to score. Minutes later, Pittsburgh capitalized once again when Panthers nemesis, Sidney Crosby, tipped the puck past Luongo, to give his side the first lead of the night:

After the goal, the Panthers started to pick up the pace and had many chances to tie it up in the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau was alone in front of the net with Matt Murray, but Murray stoned Huberdeau to preserve the Penguins lead heading into the 3rd period.

As the third period started, the Panthers once again took control of the game until they took yet another penalty. Though it seemed like Pittsburgh would score again, the Panthers fought it off to stay down by one goal. After the Panthers killed off the penalty, Roberto Luongo went down with what appeared to be a hand injury after his hand got squished between Penguins’ player, Connor Sheary and the goal post. James Reimer came into the game in relief.

The Cats began to buzz around the net with scoring chances flying all over the place. Finally, MacKenzie Weegar, in his first game of the season, blistered his first career NHL goal to tie things up in the 3rd period:

A few plays after the Weegar goal seemed as if both teams would be content going to overtime, but Radim Vrbata took a tripping penalty and the Panthers were in trouble. As expected, Connor Sheary and the Penguins put the puck in the net to take the lead once again:

With just little time left on the clock, the Panthers tried their best to come back but failed in doing so. To make things worse, Aleksander Barkov was robbed with five seconds left by Matt Murray to basically seal the fate of the Panthers:

Truthfully, the Cats deserved to lose this game to the Pens tonight. The Penguins were the better team for most of the night and capitalized on most of their chances. Not only did the Panthers fail to make the Penguins pay for their mistakes, but they also had many mental lapses on the defensive side of the ice.

While many will cry that the season is already over, the Panthers have a ton of hockey left to play. If they can prevent 4-5 goals from going in every night and continue to score at a decent rate, then the Cats should notice some better results going their way. Florida has now dropped three straight games and currently stand at 2-4-0 through six games against tough competition.

The Florida Panthers will look to snap their three-game losing streak tomorrow night in D.C against the fiery Washington Capitals.