The Florida Panthers are still looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season after beaten getting 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers at FLA Live Arena.
Florida out-shot Edmonton 42-32, but Stuart Skinner’s 40-save effort carried the day. Skinner stopped all 20 shots as the Cats dominated for a large chunk of the first period.
Sam Bennett eventually matched the two goals scored by Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie. Unfortunately, after Barrie scored a power-play 6:53 into the third to put the visitors up 2-1, Leon Draisaitl took the puck away from Aleksander Barkov in front of Spencer Knight before setting up Warren Foegele, who extended the lead.
A glorious give-and-go between Bennett and Colin White 51 seconds later closed the gap back to one. As Bennett cut in on Skinner on his backhand, Brett Kulak knocked the puck off his stick and into the net. Kind of indictive of the help the Panthers needed getting the puck by the 24-year-old Skinner, who earned his third win of the campaign.
With Knight off for an extra attacker, Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad were guilt of too many passes and Ekblad couldn’t hold the puck in at the blue line, leading to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ empty-netter from Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi with 1:26 remaining.
Bennett’s first goal came 2:42 into the third with the Panthers on a power play. Bennett sped to a rebound in the left circle and fired it off the inside of the post and by Skinner after Gustav Forsling’s shot from the right point deflected off Patric Hornqvist in the slot.
Another frustrating loss due to a lack of finishing power. The Cats kept McDavid and Draisaitl under wraps for the most part, but couldn’t convert their chances, ringing a few off the iron and just flat-out missing on others, and were finally done in by some mistakes in the third period. Florida will get a couple days to think about it before they face the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Pressure & Viscosity
- In addition to scoring both Florida goals, Sam Bennett finished with a game-high six shots. He was also credited with three hits and two blocks in his 16:06 TOI.
- Aaron Ekblad returned after missing 11 games and he looked rusty. Ekblad took an iffy holding the stick penalty that led to Tyson Barrie’s goal four seconds later and couldn’t keep the puck at the line on Edmonton’s empty-netter. He had a great scoring chance in the second, but blasted it wide. That kind of game...
- Matthew Tkachuk also returned after his two-game suspension. Despite registering five shots, he was rather ineffective as well. Tkachuk, who went -2, looked like he was trying to do too much against the team he hated the most when he was with Calgary,
- Leon Draisaitl’s steal and set up on the game-winner extended his point streak to 11 games. Connor McDavid extended his point and assist streak to ten games with the primary on the clinching ENG.
- Spencer Knight took just his second loss of the season, finishing with 28 saves on 31 shots. Knight was solid, but you’d like to see a stop on at least one of the two Barrie shots.
- Ryan McLeod and Mattias Janmark had the assists on Barrie’s first goal. Tyson entered the game with one goal and left with three.
- For the happier side of this Saturday matinee, stop by Copper and Blue.