Not going to waste anyone's time with this: despite handily outshooting the Thrashers for two of three periods, the Panthers - on the precipice of a fouth-straight victory - handed off a win, in wickedly brutal fashion, to division rival Atlanta, by a score of 3-2 in a skillz komp. The sheet above tells the tale, so dissecting what took place is pointless: Florida blew it Big Time as a point in the standings is presented on a silver platter.
Oh, and Scott Clemmensen (28 saves) was really rather human when they needed a bit more at the end. Other than that...Ondrej Pavelec (38 saves) was a sick and positively twisted maniac. Period.
Games of this type should be a lot more familiar to Panthers fans given the rebuilding status of the club, but we've been spoiled by the never-say-die attitude witnessed on display since October; for a team which should be challenging the Islanders for league step-child status, the Tallon/DeBoer bunch has been a pleasant surprise. No, a major surprise. Remaining within 10 points of a playoff spot is not in the re-tool manual.
Instead of heartbreaking nights like Monday being the norm, they are the exception. Remarkable with a roster staring at 30% or better turnover in a few short months.
In any case, kudos to Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay for keeping the troops focused. I for one am pleased to see these previously-pointless division games take on a bundle of significance.
More from Bird Watchers Anonymous here. Next up: Columbus on Wednesday, Live Game Thread at 6pm.