No one said it would be simple. Or non-repetitive.
The Panthers continued the puck-attacking, aggressive play which has been a staple of recent games, yet fell to a hot Edmonton club who's enjoyed the road of late. A 3-2 final goes out to the masses, but there was a lot to like about Florida's final appearance on home ice for a spell. And that's likely a positive.
Regardless of almost non-existent success at home (unless blown-lead, one-point gains are considered "successful"), the examples we've seen lately have been far more hopeful considering the future. And for the record, Tomas Vokoun looked good.
Stephen Weiss' goal streak was shut down and Nathan Horton garnered zippo on the scoresheet, but for the first time in a long while, secondary scoring ruled the day as Dominic Moore banged home two to keep the game within reach.
And from a Florida perspective, a 35 to 28 shot advantage is most definitely a plus.
Yep...it's still a loss - the seventh in their past eight games - but in that time the club has turned over a new attitude which was obvious from the start. They were physical and quick to defend their zone. It wasn't perfect, but far superior to what was witnessed even four weeks ago.
And how about this: Rostislav Olesz scored in the shootout. Don't know what type of compromising photos Rusty must be in possession of with regard to his coaching staff, but he came through when called upon...with the very same backhand-to-the-right play we've all grown so accustomed to.
Anyway, it was Moore for the Cats (with assists from Kulikov and 1,000 game-dude Dvorak), while Shawn Horcoff and Lubomir Visnovsky gained goals from Robert Nilsson and Ladislav Smid. Horcoff gained the game-winner in the shootout as well.
Not a terrible showing by any stretch for the home team, but a road trip is probably very welcome among the troops.
Notes: Michael Frolik (0 points) had nine SOG. Weiss and Bryan McCabe led all skaters with 24:39 TOI (see Weiss play. See Weiss grow). Edmonton's Visnovsky led the visitors with 2 points.
Next up: BJ action from Columbus on Wednesday.