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Thursday Caterwaul: Panthers GameDay Open Forum

Shadowing old pal Mike Richards, Florida's Stephen Weiss has yet to record a single point against Los Angeles through seven career games
Shadowing old pal Mike Richards, Florida's Stephen Weiss has yet to record a single point against Los Angeles through seven career games

Surrendering first-period goals (often of the early variety) has been an alarming trend for Florida in recent weeks - like you weren't painfully aware - the overall effect of which has blossomed into a very ugly statistic: 46 first-period goals-against in 52 games ranks the Panthers fifth-worst in the National Hockey League, behind Tampa Bay (58), Ottawa (57), Columbus/Nashville (52), and Philadelphia (47).

That the Cats have managed only 37 of their own in opening frames is a miserable number individually - good for 21st overall - but alas the Kings are in town: L.A. has scored a league-worst 24.

Predictably, forward Kris Versteeg leads Florida with 6 first-period markers, followed by defenseman Jason Garrison's 5. Of Tomas Fleischmann's 17 total goals, a scant 2 have found the back of the opposition's net in the first twenty minutes.

The Eastern Front

Rank

Team

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

GF

GA

Home

Away

L/10

Streak

1

NY Rangers

51

33

13

5

71

141

103

16-6-2

17-7-3

6-3-1

Lost 1

2

Boston

52

33

17

2

68

180

117

17-9-2

16-8-0

4-5-1

Lost 1

3

Washington

53

28

21

4

60

149

149

19-7-1

9-14-3

4-4-2

Won 1

4

Philadelphia

53

30

16

7

67

173

157

12-8-5

18-8-2

4-3-3

OT 1

5

New Jersey

53

31

19

3

65

150

148

15-9-2

16-10-1

7-2-1

Won 5

6

Pittsburgh

54

30

19

5

65

163

141

15-7-2

15-12-3

7-2-1

OT 1

7

Toronto

54

28

20

6

62

168

157

16-8-4

12-12-2

6-3-1

Lost 1

8

Ottawa

56

27

22

7

61

162

174

14-11-2

13-11-5

2-7-1

Lost 2

9

Florida

52

24

17

11

59

131

149

13-5-7

11-12-4

3-4-3

Lost 2

10

Winnipeg

55

25

24

6

56

131

151

16-8-2

9-16-4

4-5-1

Won 1

11

NY Islanders

52

22

22

8

52

126

150

11-11-5

11-11-3

6-2-2

Won 1

12

Buffalo

53

23

24

6

52

132

154

12-9-6

11-15-0

4-5-1

Won 2

13

Tampa Bay

52

23

24

5

51

148

176

15-8-2

8-16-3

6-3-1

Lost 1

14

Montreal

54

21

24

9

51

140

147

11-11-7

10-13-2

5-4-1

Won 2

15

Carolina

55

20

25

10

50

139

168

14-12-3

6-13-7

5-2-3

OT 1

*

Why last night really didn't matter:

  • BUF over BOS, 6-0; suddenly that Caps shutout on Tuesday doesn't appear quite so insulting

Panthers Playoff Update:

Why tonight is a HUGE Deal in SoFla, beyond the obvious:

  • WPG at WSH, 7 p.m.; fourth game of season series, Caps lead 2-1. Last game at D.C. went overtime - the nightmare scenario
  • TOR at PHI, 7; past seven: 6-1 Flyers
  • NSH at OTW, 7:30; Sens' Michalek: 11-game goal drought

Next up for the Cats:

  • Hosting the Kings this evening; LBC Game Thread powers up at 7. Check in with our buds at Jewels From The Crown and MayorsManor for the Los Angeles perspective on tonight's matchup.

Did you know

  • L.A. right wing Justin Williams: 15 points (8G), plus-7, 1 GWG in 21 career games at BankAtlantic Center

Wednesday’s Organizational Transactions:

  • G Brian Foster returned to San Antonio

Wednesday’s NHL Waiver Wire

  • Jed Ortmeyer (MIN) to waivers