Florida Panthers get pounced by the Colorado Avalance 7-3

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 9: Carl Soderberg
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 9: Carl Soderberg /

The Florida Panthers were looking to finish up their home stand with a win against the Avalanche. Would they finish victorious in two consecutive games?

The game started off in pretty even fashion as both sides exchanged chances at both ends of the rink. Both net minders (Varlamov and Reimer) were each seeing action, but were denying every shot they faced. Eventually, it was Colorado who would break the deadlock and score the game’s first goal.

Halfway through the first and Mikko Rantanen recorded his 9th of the year, giving his side a 1-0 lead. The Panthers continued to fight for the game’s tying goal, but no luck was to be found. Fortunately enough, the Cats were rewarded with a chance later on in the period and managed to capitalize on that opportunity.

Coming down into Colorado’s zone with less than 10 seconds in the opening period, Jonathan Huberdeau found an open Aaron Ekblad in the circle. Aaron quickly received the pass and sniped home his sixth of the year, tying the game at one a piece:

The goal would come with 2.6 seconds left in the first, immediately taking the Panthers into the dressing room shortly after (tied at one, after one).

The Panthers continued to build on this momentum early in the second, and found the back of the net once again. Denis Malgin was sprung on a breakaway from a Jamie McGinn pass, which led the youngster all alone with Varlamov. Needless to say, “Denis the Menace” went backhand-forehand and roofed the puck top-shelf:

As things were starting to look great for the Panthers, they unfortunately didn’t stay that way. The Avs struck again and evened the game at two a side. Nathan MacKinnon would take on the entire Panthers’ group, dangling and dazzling his way through on goal, only to pop a shot over Reimer’s shoulder and in.

Less than a minute after the MacKinnon goal and the Avalanche scored again. Tyson Barrie’s point shot deflected off a couple of bodies and found its way pass Reimer. Just like that, the tides suddenly changed and the Cats found themselves behind once again.

The third period offered the Panthers a chance to even the game up for a second time, but Semyon Varlamov had other plans in this match. The 29-year-old would remain stellar for the next twenty minutes, allowing little to no rebounds when a shot was going his way.

James Reimer on the other hand wasn’t quite doing the same, nor was he making the saves when the Panthers needed him too. The Avalanche would go on to extend their lead to two, with Erik Johnson’s shot finding its way past Reimer’s five-hole and in. Shortly after, Colin Wilson tripled their lead and undoubtedly put this game out of reach for the Cats.

Bob Boughner decided to pull the goalie with six minutes remaining, giving Florida a 6 on 5 man advantage. With pressure pouring during those last six minutes in Colorado’s end, the Panthers were rewarded with a goal from Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau’s goal would cut the Avalanche’s lead down to two (5-3):

Jonathan’s goal would end up being too little too late as the Avalanche would go on to pot two empty netter’s down in Florida’s territory. Matt Nieto and Carl Soderberg would each be credited for the Avs’ two empty net goals. The game would end with a score line of 7-3 in favor of the Colorado Avalanche.

Overall, the Florida Panthers played well during parts of the game, but didn’t have the goaltending to back them up. Your Cats are back in action on Monday, December 11th @7:30pm against the Detroit Red Wings