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Recat: I See Your Schwartz Is As Big As Mine

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The Panthers had nothing for 59 minutes until Nick Bjugstad earned a coveted "Bettman point." They eventually dropped it in the shootout by a 2-1 final.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues interrupted a Panther seven-game road trip with a quick one-off at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. Florida managed to extend the Blues to a shootout, but eventually lost in the fifth round when Jori Lehtera beat Roberto Luongo, five-hole.

The Panthers survived a scoreless first period although they were doubled up on shots, 14-to-7 for the period. In all, it was a pretty uneventful frame, with one fruitless power play, by the Panthers.

At the 11:48 mark of the second period, Jaden Schwartz finally put a number on the scoreboard with his 20th goal of the season. He took a behind-the-net pass from Jori Lehtera and slid it past Roberto Luongo, who was coming out of the crease in a failed bid to claim the puck. Vladimir Tarasenko earned the secondary assist on the play.

With just a minute to go in regulation and Luongo pulled for the extra skater, Nick Bjugstad evened the score up (and ended an eight-period scoring drought for the Panthers) by banging home an Aaron Ekblad rebound for his team-leading 20th goal of the season. The assist brought Ekblad's point total to 32 on the season, moving him out of a four-way tie for third all-time amongst 18-year-old defensemen. Brian Campbell earned the other assist, in essence giving the Panthers at least one point on the night. Later, the secondary assist was changed to Aleksander Barkov.

After a scoreless overtime period, the teams went to the three-round shootout. The second round would see Tarasenko beat Luongo with a shot five-hole, then Brad Boyes even it up with a glove-side wrister which tied up Elliott. The "skills competition went to a fifth round, when Jori Lehtera beat Luongo, five-hole to win the shootout.

Most of the "highlights" occured in tonight's gamethread, LBC's 55th of the season. As usual, site founder Donny Rivette heads up the "leaderboard":

MEMBER

COMMENTS

Donny Rivette

152

maple

77

KensterFox

64

The real CatscratchFever

49

Mircseszku

48

joerockhead

44

OldDave

30

Kevin Kraczkowski

27

John Beatty

25

Weaselpoot

23

kevin.verge.7

17

dcfish

12

VC4Three

9

Dr.John

6

cirrus33

6

TKelley92

6

aborkie

5

LAUSMAN

5

lipsonjeff

2

Bingo Cats

1

davidknight1304

1

Jets Mets Devils Nets 15

1

Words of wisdom from KensterFox: (we actually ended up going 3-3-2)

A loss would put us at 3-3-1 in February, probably our toughest month of the season. If we finish February with a record even slightly above .500 on the month, I have to think we’re still in it. - KensterFox

...and rampant hyperbole, also by KensterFox:

The story’s been passed down through generations, and it may be nothing but legend, but I hear tell that once upon a time, when the world was young, the Panthers once scored six goals in a game. Six! Can you imagine?

Then much later:

WE GOT A POINT!!!- KensterFox

This charming back and forth between Weaselpoot and our own Donny Rivette regarding Jokinen, the elder:

Bergenheim wants out.
Olli needs to be a Panther again.
Let’s make it happen. - Weaselpoot

You’re drunk already? Not even 5 yet. - Donny Rivette

Maple with a nugget of gratitude for Bobby Lou:

Thank sweet monkey for Luongo! - Maple

...and regarding Bouwmeester:

Should’ve been a figure skater. - Maple

TRCSF stating two unfortunate impressions:
Blues seem to outnumber us in all 3 zones. - The real CatscratchFever

On a positive note, they’ve picked the effort level up to the point where we can say, "they played really hard even though they lost!" - The real CatscratchFever
Mircseszku looking toward the future (as always):
I really don’t care if they make the playoffs( said that too many times in the past). I just want to see some new kids on the block. I want to see speed. - Mircseszku
This gem, featuring three SB Nation'ers (four including me, this is meta as get out).
MOTHER FUDGECAKE!
SPIT EATING MOP SUCKING SON OF A BISCUIT

-by TitansPredsGrizzBulls

Makes OldDave sound tame ^ - Weaselpoot

Kevin.verge.7, feeling understandably glum:

I wonder if we will ever score. Ever. - kevin.verge.7

And arguably the comment of the night:

Remember when we got married on the ice at the period break and then our team lost?  - John Beatty

Maple later corrected me when I assumed that John was talking about the two of them, when in fact their nuptials were performed by the one and only Elvis Presley (impersonator(?)) in Las Vegas. What John was referring to were the couple who tied the knot during the first intermission.

After the Bjugstad score:

FINALLY!!!!!!! - dcfish

Don't abandon ship yet! We still have 27 games this season, and I think that changes are underfoot. Next up for our Cats, the Toronto Maple Leafs, starring Olli Jokinen on Tuesday night at 7:30PM.