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Second Look: Panthers 2, Sabres 0

Florida scored twice in the first and Roberto Luongo turned aside 30 shots for an easy night in Buffalo.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The short of it

Florida started out 2015 by invading the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Brad Boyes scored his seventh goal of the season before four minutes had gone by, and Nick Bjugstad scored on the power play eight minutes later for his 14th of the season and what would prove to be the final 2-0 margin. Roberto Luongo made 30 saves for his 68th career shutout.

Broken Down

Florida scored every goal of the game in the first period, and it showed with the first intermission stats. The Panthers put 19 shots on goal to only seven for the Sabres. This basic stat extrapolated nicely into the Corsi stats, which the Cats led 25-to-11 after one. Florida led Fenwick by a 21-to-10 margin, as the Sabres blocked four shots to only one for Florida. The second period would see the Sabres match the Cats pretty much shot for shot. Florida had 18 Corsi events to 16 for the Sabres. They also out-Fenwicked Buffalo, 14-13 while allowing the Sabres 11 shots on goal, to 10 for Florida.

The third period would see Buffalo allow their desperation to set the pace of the game. The Sabres directed 24 Corsi events toward Luongo, to only seven at Michal Neuvirth.

ES Corsi Stats

Florida Panthers

Name

TOI

ES TOI

Corsi For

Corsi Against

Corsi Diff

Corsi%

ZS%

C/ZS

Jussi Jokinen

15:07

14:28

15

11

4

58

31

27

Jonathan Huberdeau

12:40

12:20

15

9

6

62

40

22

Willie Mitchell

23:36

22:57

11

18

-7

38

17

21

Vincent Trocheck

13:24

13:24

14

11

3

56

36

20

Dmitry Kulikov

22:55

22:16

12

17

-5

41

25

16

Jimmy Hayes

14:28

14:08

7

9

-2

44

36

8

Nick Bjugstad

13:23

13:03

7

9

-2

44

36

8

Brandon Pirri

13:04

13:04

8

9

-1

47

40

7

Shane O’Brien

16:03

16:03

12

13

-1

48

52

4

Brian Campbell

21:58

21:38

26

16

10

62

67

-5

Aaron Ekblad

19:39

19:19

26

15

11

63

69

-6

Derek MacKenzie

15:29

14:50

10

17

-7

37

44

-7

Dave Bolland

15:24

15:24

10

15

-5

40

47

-7

Dylan Olsen

15:49

15:49

9

13

-4

41

50

-9

Scottie Upshall

13:36

13:36

11

14

-3

44

54

-10

Brad Boyes

18:03

18:03

16

12

4

57

73

-16

Aleksander Barkov

16:51

16:51

16

11

5

59

80

-21

Sean Bergenheim

17:52

17:52

15

11

4

58

80

-22

  • Jussi Jokinen was present on-ice for a total of 26 Corsi Events, 15 of them positive for a 58 Corsi%. He only started 31% of the time in the offensive zone, leaving him as the Panther with the highest C-ZS. Jonathan Huberdeau, Willie Mitchell, Vincent Trocheck, and Dmitry Kulikov also closed the game with very positive relative marks.
  • Brad Boyes, Aleksander Barkov, and Sean Bergenheim had the roughest night statwise. Each of them racked up a Corsi% over 50, but did so with around three-quarters positive zone starts.
  • Brian Campbell totaled just under 22 minutes on ice, actually ranking third on the team behind Mitchell and Kulikov.
  • The Panthers were far and away the better team in the first period, in terms of shot generation differential. The Sabres were even more far and away on top of things in the third, but that could be easily attributed to score effects as Buffalo scrambled to solve Luongo.

Buffalo Sabres

Name

TOI

ES TOI

Corsi For

Corsi Against

Corsi Diff

Corsi%

ZS%

C/ZS

Patrick Kaleta

10:12

9:52

6

10

-4

38

22

16

Cody McCormick

13:19

12:59

9

12

-3

43

29

14

Nicolas Deslauriers

11:33

11:33

6

13

-7

32

20

12

Nikita Zadorov

17:32

17:32

16

11

5

59

50

9

Rasmus Ristolainen

19:07

18:28

13

10

3

57

50

7

Chris Stewart

17:43

17:43

18

14

4

56

57

-1

Zemgus Girgensons

18:48

18:48

16

10

6

62

64

-2

Mike Weber

17:26

17:26

14

16

-2

47

50

-3

Josh Gorges

25:18

24:19

19

21

-2

48

53

-5

Drew Stafford

14:33

13:54

10

12

-2

45

50

-5

Andre Benoit

17:06

17:06

13

17

-4

43

50

-7

Cody Hodgson

15:50

15:11

13

11

2

54

62

-8

Tyson Strachan

23:31

23:11

17

21

-4

45

53

-8

Matt Moulson

19:29

19:29

17

12

5

59

67

-8

Brian Flynn

13:36

12:57

8

11

-3

42

50

-8

Mikhail Grigorenko

17:59

17:20

16

17

-1

48

57

-9

Tyler Ennis

19:32

19:32

16

12

4

57

67

-10

Johan Larsson

10:04

10:04

7

10

-3

41

60

-19

  • Only five out of the 18 players to hit the ice for Buffalo ended up with positive C-ZS marks.
  • Interestingly, the three Sabres who ended the night with the lowest Corsi% did so with the three lowest positive zone starts. Most notable was Cody McCormick, who played 13 minutes at even strength and started just six of his 21 shifts in the positive zone. His 43% Corsi reflected nine of 21 Corsi events in his presence to be of the positive type.
  • The vast majority of Buffalo players, 14 to be exact, ended the night in standard deviation of 10% or less between Zone Starts and Positive Corsi.
  • The only Buffalo player to finish with a "bad" night was Johan Larsson, who played just 10 minutes, was present for 17 Corsi Events, (seven positive, 10 negative for a 41% mark), and started in the offensive zone 60% of the time, a minus-19 deviation.

Spotlight On Ekblad

Ok, I'm going to try something else in addition to the garden variety advanced stats here and aim the spotlight at one Panther per game. For last night's matchup, I'm going to focus on Aaron Ekblad.

  • Ekblad was plus-4 Corsi overall. The best Panther for him to be on ice with turned out to be Jonathan Huberdeau. When the two were on the ice together, Florida was plus-12. Predictably, when matched up with frequent pairing-mate Brian Campbell the two finished at plus-11.
  • The super-rookie was least effective when on-ice with Brandon Pirri, Dave Bolland, and Derek MacKenzie, each of whom when paired with Ekblad collected a minus-2 Corsi.
  • Ekblad's favorite opponents were Josh Georges (plus-10), Tyson Strachan (plus-9), Andre Benoit (plus-8), Matt Moulson (plus-6), Mike Weber (plus-6), and Tyler Ennis (plus-6).
  • In terms of who was the most effective against Ekblad, the answer was Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, against whom Ekblad finished up minus-4 and minus-3, respectively.

Next up for the Panthers, an afternoon game tomorrow against the Washington Capitals. Check back here for an advanced statistical scouting report, the Caterwaul in the morning, your live gamethread as the game approaches, and the recap soon after the final horn.