Despite a solid first period offensively for the Cats, the tanking continues, as Pittsburgh walked out of the Bank Atlantic Center Saturday evening with a 4-2 victory. Goals by Jack Skille and Clay Wilson, just 22 seconds apart in the first period, gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead going into the second period, but Pascal Dupuis would pull the Pens even just 45 seconds into the second period. It would remain tied until midway through the third period, when Zbynek Michalek would blast a slapshot by Scott Clemmensen. Craig Adams would ice it with an empty netter later in the third period, and the Pens would hand the Panthers their eighth straight loss.
Looking for positives? How about the solid two-way play of Clay Wilson, he of the 15.4% shooting percentage, whose laser wrist shot in the first pulled the Cats ahead. Much can be said of Wilson's small stature, but his defensive positioning and timing when jumping into the play have been superb and his play this season may give him a leg up on any competition in training camp next year. Skille finally potted his first goal as a Panther off a sweet saucer pass from Marty Reasoner, and overall Skille played an energetic and solid game.
Notables: Tyler Kennedy scored his 20th of the season, his first 20-goal season in the NHL, so hats off to Kennedy. David Booth again led the Panthers in shots, with Chris Connor leading the Penguins, both players notching five shots each. Dmitry Kulikov led all skaters with 23:40, again cementing himself as a long-term solution on the blueline.
More from our friends at PensBurgh here. Next up for the Panthers: at Washington, 7PM EST, Wednesday, April 6th. Don't be late!