The Florida Panthers were heading into this game with minimal confidence, looking to snap their five game losing streak. Would tonight be the night?
The Panthers started the game off flat and were looking like their old selves again. Lots of sloppy play was happening in the defensive zone, most notably seen with the excessive yet unnecessary amounts of turnovers given up. Roberto Luongo was seeing an awful lot of rubber that period and stood on his head giving the Cats a much-needed boost.
Unfortunately, that boost would only last so long and the Sabres would strike first with seven minutes remaining. Victor Antipin threw a puck on net from the point, only to find Kyle Okposo who would tip home the game’s opening goal.
Okposo’s goal would be the last and only goal of the period, sending the Panthers to the locker room down by one. The Cats desperately needed a regroup, especially after their poor efforts in the first.
With a fresh period underway, the Panthers were starting to pick up their game and were applying loads of pressure in Sabres territory. The Cats came close on a few occasions, but it was Evgeni Dadonov (daddy) who leveled the game at one a piece:
The Panthers continued to press after Dadonov’s goal, but unfortunately found no luck and would head into 2nd intermission tied up at one. The Cats looked like a newly energized team and if they were to continue that level of play, surely they’d go on to win the game.
Florida did just that and got off to a perfect start in the 3rd. Three and a half minutes into the final period and Ian McCoshen recorded his third goal of the year from an initial point shot. His slap-shot would find it’s way through a Buffalo defenseman and past Robin Lehner:
The Cats continued to press up until the final minutes of the period and they would be rewarded for all their hard work. Aleksander Barkov would add to the Panthers lead and sealed off the victory with an empty net goal.
Less than twenty-seconds later and Vinnie Trocheck did the same. Cousin Vinnie added some more salt to the Sabres wound and would tally Florida’s second empty net goal of the night. The Panthers concluded the game with a final score of 4-1.
Overall, tonight was a much better effort from the Florida Panthers all around and the boys truly deserved the win. The first period was a struggle for the Cats, but they managed to get back on track come the second. Florida are back at it tomorrow (Saturday, November 11th) @7:00pm against the New Jersey Devils!