Florida Panthers Run into Greiss’ Brick Wall; Fall Short, 2-1

Looking to get back into the win column, the Florida Panthers were tasked with facing the defensively-sound New York Islanders.

It was a slow start to the opening period for the Florida Panthers. The Islanders caught them off guard abruptly, testing Sergei Bobrovsky early on. On the other hand, the Panthers found it rather difficult creating chances at the other end of the ice.

Within the opening five minutes, Evgenii Dadonov took an offensive-zone penalty, sending the Isles to their first man advantage of the afternoon. The home side managed to score but it was quickly waved off as the refs deemed that Anders Lee made contact with Bobrovsky.

The power play continued after the goal was disallowed but the Islanders struck again – with this one counting – through Matthew Barzal.

After a shot from the point was taken, Brock Nelson jumped on the loose rebound and quickly sent a spun-around pass to Barzal on the other side. Barzal quickly moved the puck over to his backhand and roofed a shot over Bobrovsky to give the Isles the first lead of the game.

The Panthers suddenly woke up after the goal was scored and started taking the play to their opponent more frequently. They found ways to be more creative in front of goal, but Thomas Greiss stood tall and denied every chance.

Florida’s movement and passing were noticeably better than what it was from the start of the first, making the Isles’ defense move more and eliminating predictability.

Off a beautiful passing play between MacKenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau, Huberdeau drew a hooking call, sending the Cats to their first man advantage of the game. The first unit created some good open looks but were unable to capitalize on them.

After twenty minutes of play, the Panthers were heading to the locker room a goal down with eleven seconds of their power play carrying over to start the second.

The Islanders killed off those remaining eleven seconds with ease. As soon as they were back to even strength, they regained momentum in their own hands.

They hemmed the Panthers in their zone for quite some time, coming close to doubling their lead after Matt Barzal rang a shot off the goal post, which stayed out.

Jordan Eberle slashed Aaron Ekblad, sending the Panthers right back to the man advantage. The Cats created some good looks out of the opportunity, but yet again, Thomas Greiss stood tall like a brick wall.

After unable to capitalize on another power-play chance, the Panthers found themselves a man down after Ekblad flipped the puck out of play. Thankfully, though, the Panthers’ PK unit was solid in killing his penalty off cleanly.

Evgenii Dadonov came rushing down the ice moments later into Isles territory, wristing a shot off the goal post which followed by a scramble in front of Greiss’ crease. The Panthers just couldn’t buy a goal…

It wasn’t long after that play that Florida was suddenly a man down once again. This time, Mark Pysyk held Michael Dal Colle on an odd-man rush the other way after getting burned in transition. But yet again, the Panthers’ solid PK units were there to complete their job once again, killing off his penalty with comfort. Sergei Bobrovsky, as well, made a couple of big pad saves off shots from the point.

The Panthers were heading to the dressing room down a goal like before. This time, though, they were looking increasingly frustrated after being denied 22 times by Thomas Greiss – who’s had their number in the past (2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs first round).

In the third, the Panthers got off to a quick start and drew a penalty early after Johnny Boychuck tripped up Mike Hoffman. On this attempt, the Panthers finally found their equalizer from their captain.

After a loose puck was sitting in Thomas Greiss’ crease, Barkov jumped on the loose rebound and poked the puck home to level the game up at one.

38 seconds later, though, the Isles regain their lead. After a shot was thrown on net, Anders Lee took a swing at the bobbling puck, which found its way trickling past Bobrovsky. Needless to say, it was quite a flukey goal…

It wasn’t long after until the Cats returned to the power play, with Anders Lee recklessly taking down Vincent Trocheck. This chance provided the Panthers with a golden opportunity to level the game once again and force the Isles’ hand.

From Jonathan Huberdeau’s cross-crease pass, Mike Hoffman’s one-timer was robbed by Greiss’ glove and deflected up into the air. Barkov had a whack at it with his stick, which bounced off an Islander and into the net. After reviewing the play, however, the linesmen overturned the call and deemed that Barkov caught the puck with a high-stick, meaning that there was no goal on the play.

The Panthers continued to push hard late in the third, searching for that second equalizer. Thomas Greiss locked down the fort and closed out the game to propel the New York Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers’ inability to capitalize on the numerous chances that they created was the difference in this outing. Bobrovsky was as solid as he could’ve been, while the defense held up pretty well for most of the afternoon.

Next: Brian Boyle is Fitting in Well with the Florida Panthers

Your Panthers are back in action on Sunday, November. 10 against the New York Rangers at 1 P.M., looking to snap their two-game losing skid. 

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