After a crucial victory in St. Louis, the Florida Panthers were heading home to face the Calgary Flames, in what would be an important game before the bye week.
The Panthers didn’t start the game off well, as defenseman Aaron Ekblad was called for tripping on Michael Ferland, forty-five seconds into the match. Not the kind of start you want from a struggling team.
Thanks to the penalty killing unit, not only did they manage to kill off the penalty, but they even drew a call, cutting the Flames man advantage short.
Vinnie Trocheck rushed down the ice shorthanded, and drew a holding call in the process. Thanks to Vinnie, the Cats would play 4 on 4 for a very brief period of time, and would then see some power play time for about fifty seconds.
Aleksander Barkov received a beautiful pass from Dadonov on the power play, but was robbed by David Rittich. What looked like a guaranteed goal in the moment, ended up being a remarkable save in the end. About forty-five seconds after Barkov’s chance, Keith Yandle rang one off the crossbar.
Halfway through the first period and the same ‘culprit’ was called yet again. Yes, that ‘culprit’ was Aaron Ekblad, and this time he was called for interference on Michael Ferland. The penalty killing unit killed of the penalty with ease, keeping the game scoreless for the time being.
Before the end of the period, goaltender David Rittich was called for a trip on Jonathan Huberdeau, giving the Cats a power play with twenty seconds left.
The Panthers wouldn’t muster anything together during the last 20 seconds, sending both teams into the locker room tied at zero. Florida would begin the second on the power play.
Twenty-seven seconds into the second frame and Evgeni Dadonov scored the game’s opening goal. Dadonov received a pass in the slot from Jonathan Huberdeau, and sniped a shot bottom corner:
Thirty-three seconds after Dadonov’s goal and the Flames found an equalizer. Dougie Hamilton found Monahan open, feeding him a pass in the middle of the Panthers zone. Monahan then quickly fired a shot into the top corner, tying the game at one.
Florida received two more power play opportunities during the second period, but failed to cash in on them both. Calgary on the other hand managed to take the lead halfway through the second, thanks to Matthew Tkachuck.
They also cashed in on one of their power plays, with about four and a half minutes remaining. Johnny Gaudreau would rip one past James Reimer, giving his side a two-goal lead.
With just under a minute left in the second frame, all star Aleksander Barkov blew past Travis Hamonic and found himself on a breakaway against Rittich. Unfortunately, Barkov missed wide and the Flames would hold on to their two-goal lead at the end of the second period.
The Panthers received some good looks throughout the final period, but failed to capitalize on them. No matter how many pucks they were throwing at Rittich, none were getting by him. But, there was Evgeni Dadonov who would come in and cut the Flames lead by one, late in the third.
With the entire play starting from Barkov, a loose puck went through Hamonic and Brodie, eventually finding its way to Dadonov. Evgeni was left slotting the puck into the open side of the net, giving the Cats some life:
Unfortunately, the Panthers weren’t able to find a third, but the Flames would find an empty netter through Mikael Backlund. The Calgary Flames would go on to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-2.
Overall, the Florida Panthers clearly outshot their opponent, but couldn’t capitalize on the majority of their scoring chances. Your Panthers are back in action on Friday, January 19th @7:30pm against the Vegas Golden Knights. Florida will take the next six days off, which will be their bye week.