If there is one thing the Florida Panthers have done well this season, it's make the opposing team's backup goaltender look like the second coming of Patrick Roy. The Cats fired 35 shots at Joey MacDonald, but could only dent the journeyman once as the Calgary Flames departed Sunrise with a 2-1 victory. The loss was the fifth straight for the Panthers.
After a scoreless first period that saw Florida outshoot the Flames 11-6, Calgary's Kenny Agostino (with his eyes once a shining sea) opened the scoring 1:34 into the second period with the first goal of his NHL career.
Flames forward Lance Bouma got called for holding the stick fifteen seconds later, setting the stage for Vincent Trocheck's power-play goal at the 2:21 mark. Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Pirri drew the helpers on Trocheck's fourth goal since his March 5th recall from the San Antonio Rampage.
Mike Cammalleri snapped the tie a few minutes later, beating Roberto Luongo after taking a nice feed from Jiri Hudler.
After amassing 28 shots during the first two periods, the Cats went out rather meekly in the third, only testing MacDonald seven more times en route to muffing the opener of their season-ending homestand before a meager crow of 12,055.
Not much else to say here, the Panthers did a lot of things right in this one (held the Flames to 17 shots - won the special teams battle), they just couldn't find the back of the net enough to come away with two points. The Cats are off today to contemplate before getting back at it Sunday against the Dallas Stars. And then there were four...
Flotsam & Jetsam
- Roberto Luongo made his first start since March 27th, when he was reduced to road kill by Carolina's Radek Dvorak. Luongo stopped 15 of the 17 shots he faced.
- Brad Boyes missed the game with a sore back finally allowing Bobby Butler to finally make his Panthers debut. Butler finished the game with 2 shots on goal, a -1 rating and got nabbed for tripping late in the second period.
- The Flames took both games in the season series, although the Cats did pick up a point in a shootout loss the first time around. Revenge will have to wait until next season.
- The Panthers have now lost eight of their last nine and with Edmonton passing them in the standings, are well on their way to assuring themselves yet another top three pick in the draft.
- Sniper Mike Cammalleri has bagged the game-winning goal in six of Calgary's last eight victories. Talk about timely scoring.
- Trocheck's power-play tally boosted the Cats percentage up to a mighty 10.4%. Maybe we won't finish with the worst power play in history after all. Take that Lightning!
- In a nice piece of news, team captain Ed Jovanovski was named Florida's candidate for this year's Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy yesterday for his comeback from hip resurfacing.
- Strap on on your safety gear and visit Matchsticks and Gasoline for more on last night's doozy.