It was indeed that ugly. One of Those Games which crop up from time to time with the express purpose of reminding Florida fans - and management - exactly where the organization stands in the midst of a massive rebuild. Again it was Mike Santorelli to the rescue, if only to prevent a shutout by Al Montoya, scoring on the powerplay midway through the third frame. Yes, the game was lost long before; likely well before the 1pm start time. Happy Presidents' Day.
Matt Moulson (3 goals) and Montoya (20 saves) were the story of the afternoon, though Travis Hamonic's 2 assists and 21 penalty minutes deserve a mention. Got to hand it to bench boss Jack Capuano: dude's got his boys dialed in tight.
Speaking of penalties, center Stephen Weiss played all of 4:54 of the first period until collecting an elbowing major and game misconduct for actions against Radek Martinek (we await the video). Bye-bye Weiss, hello Martinek goal on the man-advantage soon after.
Somewhat inexplicably, Panthers coach Peter DeBoer made a startling break from recent tradition by leaving Tomas Vokoun (32 saves) in net after New York had gained a 4-0 lead early in the second period; I was personally expecting a Scott Clemmensen relief appearance following the second goal, but whatever. A rather puzzling decision which can't help but stoke the conspiracy flames at this time of year (see Trading Deadline, NHL).