Florida Panthers Snap Three-Game Losing Skid, Defeating the Hurricanes 3-2

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 2: MacKenzie Weegar
SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 2: MacKenzie Weegar /

After dropping their last three games on the road, the Florida Panthers were heading home to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Netminders’ Roberto Luongo and Scott Darling would each get the start for their respective sides. However, only one would prevail victorious in this contest, but who would it be?

The Panthers continued their trend of slow starts, allowing the Hurricanes to dictate momentum in their own end early on. Roberto Luongo was forced to make a couple of key saves early in the match, keeping the score tied for the time being. But, it didn’t take the Hurricanes long to break the deadlock.

Just three and a half minutes into the first and Trevor van Riemsdyk opened up the scoring. Trevor came sneaking in around the back, stuffing a loose puck past Luongo:

Seventeen seconds later and the Cats quickly answered back. Unusual scorer (MacKenzie Weegar) skated his way on to goal, ripping a shot past Scott Darling’s glove, recording his second goal of the season:

Play continued back and forth at either ends of the rink, with both teams peppering shots at the opposing netminders. Although, Darling and Luongo had no trouble stopping every puck they faced, preserving the score at one goal a side.

Florida ran into trouble with six minutes remaining in the first when Denis Malgin was booked for a tripping penalty. Thankfully, the Panthers’ penalty killing unit killed of the penalty successfully, giving Luongo a helping-hand.

Before the period ended, the Panthers received a power play of their own, courtesy of Elias Lindholm’s hooking call. With ten seconds remaining in the first period, Evgeni Dadonov put the Panthers ahead, through a power play goal.

Sprung on a wide open attempt thanks to Aleksander Barkov’s pass, Evgeni Dadonov slotted home the Panthers’ second goal. Dadonov snapped a shot off Darling’s blocker, which bounced into the net:

The Panthers would take their one-goal lead into the dressing room after a period play. After a slow start to begin the first, the Cats found a way to rally back.

The Hurricanes started the second on the forefront, pouring pressure down deep in the Panthers’ end. Trevor van Riemsdyk came awfully close to notching his second of the night, but was beautifully denied by Luongo himself.

However, the Hurricanes’ hard work paid off, when Derek Ryan tied the game at two. Derek Ryan rushed down the ice off a counterattack, slotting a backhand shot underneath Luongo’s blocker:

The rest of the second was Carolina in play, but it was the solid presence of Roberto Luongo that kept the score tied at two. For the Panthers, this period certainly wasn’t their best, nor did it show their true determination towards gaining the valuable two points.

The third period offered them an escape route to win the hockey game. Although, would the Cats find that route and use it to come up victorious in this contest?

The Panthers turned things around, taking momentum back into their own hands. They approached the third as if it was a do or die situation. Pucks were getting out instantly, and pressure was being put on the Hurricanes’ defense. It was only a matter of time before the Cats scored.

Indeed, only a matter of time until Alexander Petrovic scored! Petrovic walked in and wired a wrister past Scott Darling, giving the Florida Panthers a 3-2 lead:

Florida was offered an opportunity to double their lead through a power play given from Scott Darling’s tripping call on Jonathan Huberdeau. Unfortunately, the Panthers’ power play remained stale, failing to even set up in the Hurricanes’ zone.

The Cats managed to hang on to their one-goal lead, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-2. The Panthers are now five points behind the New Jersey Devils for the last wildcard spot, with one game in hand.

In closing, the Panthers were inconsistent throughout parts of the game, but eventually found light at the end of the tunnel. Also, Luongo’s solid presence in between the pipes was an additional factor in tonight’s victory. Your Cats are back in action on Tuesday, April 3rd @7:30pm against the Nashville Predators!