Florida Panthers fall short to the Colorado Avalanche 2-1

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 14: Carl Soderberg
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 14: Carl Soderberg /

After losing to the Avalanche less than a week ago, the Florida Panthers were heading to the Mile-High City looking to even out the season series.

The Panthers started the game off well, eager to score in the opening minutes of play. Every chance the Panthers got was thrown at the net, but Varlamov was there to deny every one of them. Varlamov wouldn’t budge, and the Cats were running into another hot goaltender yet again.

But the Panthers managed to run into trouble when they took two penalties, sending Colorado to the man advantage twice in the first period. Thankfully, our penalty killing unit was strong and able to kill both penalties off with ease.

After twenty minutes of opening play in the first, the score remained scoreless after one. The Cats started the period off strong, buzzing around in the Avalanche zone and causing havoc in front of goal. On the other hand, because Florida committed two penalties, that ultimately allowed Colorado to get right back into the game.

The second period was a little different, and suddenly the Avalanche struck first. Just under five minutes into the period and Nathan MacKinnon found his 12th of the year.

Tyson Jost walked right into the Panthers zone untouched, dropping a pass right back to Tyson Barrie. Barrie then found MacKinnon open in the slot and fed him a one-time pass. The rest was history as they say (1-0 Avs):

Suddenly the tides starting shifting into Colorado’s favor, but the Panthers managed to deal with the pressure. Around seven minutes after MacKinnon’s goal and on the penalty kill, Jared McCann stripped Samuel Girard of the puck behind the net and quickly fed Barkov.

Needless to say, Aleksander Barkov slotted home his 4th shorthanded goal of the year and his 11th goal of the season:

Other high quality scoring chances managed to appear at both ends of the rink for both sides, but nothing came out of it. The score remained as is, and the Panthers were heading to the locker room tied at one after two.

The third period (like the second) didn’t start as planned for the Cats. Nathan MacKinnon notched his second goal of the night, around the opening seven minutes into the third.

MacKinnon drove


wide along the board side, and instantly threw the puck on goal as soon as he reached the net. Like many goals that have gone in against

James Reimer

, this one was indeed a softy, and would end up being the game winner (2-1 Avs):

No matter how hard the Panthers fought until the end, they just couldn’t find a way to put a second past Varlamov. MacKinnon, Varlamov, and the Avalanche would go on to win this match 2-1, extending their season series record (2-0) against the Cats.

Overall, there were parts of the game (like the first) that were well-played, and other parts that simply weren’t. The Panthers must find ways to play a full, consistent sixty minute hockey game. Your Cats are back in action on Sunday, December 17th @ 8:00pm against the Vegas Golden Knights