The Florida Panthers continue to sputter, this time dropping a 2-1 decision to the Boston Bruins in their first game back home at the BB&T Center after a 1-3 road trip.
Boston took the lead early on a penalty shot goal from Brad Marchand at the 3:53 mark of the first period. Marchand went to the backhand to easily beat Roberto Luongo for his fourth of the season. The penalty shot was awarded when Reilly Smith hooked Marchand from behind.
The Panthers ended up out-shooting the Bruins 13-3 in the opening frame, but could not solve Rask. The veteran netminder made a nice stop on a Mark Pysyk one-timer to keep his team on top.
Former Panther Dominic Moore scored shorthanded 6:16 into the second to give the Bruins a two-goal lead. Moore collected the puck after a bad turnover by Colton Sceviour at the Florida blue line and ended up ripping a shot by Luongo from a sharp angle.
Denis Malgin finally got the Cats on the board with 4:35 remaining in regulation. Keith Yandle wound up for a shot, but instead passed to the Swiss rookie, who fired a wrist shot from the high slot by Rask for his first NHL goal. Pysyk drew the secondary assist on the play.
The Panthers would finish the third period with 14 shots on goal, but Rask, who ended the night with 33 saves, would shut the door, sending the Cats to their fourth loss in the last five games.
It was once again a case of close, but no cigar for the goal-challenged Panthers. Out of their six losses this season, four have been by one goal.
The Cats keep finding ways to shoot themselves in foot. Surrendering a penalty shot opportunity and shorthanded goal is a big no-no, especially for a team that’s having trouble scoring on a consistent basis. Going 0 for 7 on the power play doesn’t help matters either.
Florida will look to right the ship Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils make a second visit to Sunrise. The Panthers beat the Devils 2-1 in overtime on opening night.
Tea & Honey
- Denis Malgin’s goal ended Tuukka Rask’s shutout streak at 131: 11. Rask is now a perfect 5-0 with a 1.20 GAA this season.
- Aleksander Barkov continued to be ice cold. Florida’s number one center didn’t even register a shot on net and is now pointless in six consecutive games.
- Roberto Luongo finished the game with 24 saves and dropped his third straight decision.
- Jaromir Jagr played in his 1.639 game, tying Dave Andreychuk for sixth place on the NHL all-time list. Jagr had one shot and one hit during the tilt.
- Defenseman Mark Pysyk had a strong game for the Cats. In addition to his helper, Pysyk had a team-best five shots on goal, two blocks and posted a +1 rating.
- David Krejci went 10 of 14 on draws and registered three shots on goal for the B’s.
- Have a hearty bowl of Stanley Cup of Chowder to wash down the Panthers latest defeat.