After posting their best road trip in franchise history, the Florida Panthers home struggles continued with a 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. The defeat came two nights after Cats were beaten the NHL’s other Alberta team, the Edmonton Oilers.
The Panthers jumped on top 4:54 into action on a power-play goal from Nick Bjugstad. Bjugstad beat Chad Johnson with a one-timer to finish off a passing play involving Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith.
Calgary exploded for three goals in a 4:54 span to build a lead it would not relinquish.
Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund and Derek Engellund were the Flames goal-scorers.
Matthew Tkachuk and former Panther Michael Frolik combined to set up the Backlund and Engellund tallies, the latter of which survived a challenge for goalie interference.
Aleksander Barkov pulled one back when he worked a give-and-go with Jonathan Huberdeau and went five-hole on a Johnson with 2:40 left in the first period. Smith picked up his second assist of the night on Barkov’s sixteenth goal.
Troy Brouwer completed the scoring at the 6:19 mark of the second period when he knocked home a pretty saucer pass that Matt Stajan put right over the blade of Roberto Luongo’s goal stick.
Johnson finished the game with 36 saves and made 30 of those stops over the final forty minutes.
Luongo gave up the four goals on Calgary’s first 13 shots and ended the night with 24 saves.
The Cats remain two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic and two behind the New York Islanders for the second wild card.
Florida will host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday in the third of a four-game homestand that has quickly gotten away from them.
The Other Side: