Panthers fall 2-1 to Blackhawks in a shootout

Cats earn a point in Tom Rowe’s NHL head coaching debut

The Florida Panthers peppered Corey Crawford with 39 shots, but only mustered a single goal in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Tom Rowe, replacing the fired Gerard Gallant, earned a point in his game as an NHL head coach.

Although Florida carried the play for most of the for most of the first period, they couldn’t solve Crawford who came up with a remarkable save after a pretty give-and-go between Aleksander Barkov and Jakub Kindl.

Richard Panik opened the scoring with a breakaway goal at the 17:50 mark. Panik collected Dennis Rasmussen’s aerial pass, which bounced off Kindl, and quickly moved in on Roberto Luongo before deking and finishing on the backhand. Marcus Kruger was credited with the secondary assist.

The team combined for 23 shots in the second period, with the Cats holding a slight 12-11 advantage, but score remained the same after forty minutes. Luongo made a big pad stop on Tyler Motte early in the stanza to keep his club within striking distance.

Jaromir Jagr finally got the Cats on the board with a power-play goal 35 seconds into the final frame to even the tilt. After Jonathan Marchessault had his shot attempt blocked, he regained the puck and put it out in front and Jagr was able to chip it home. Aaron Ekblad also picked up an assist on the play, his first of the season.

The duo of Jagr and Marchessault almost produced the winner with under a minute left in regulation, but Crawford came up with the save on the 44-year-old legend to deny Florida the win.

After a chance-filled overtime, the game went to the shootout, where the Blackhawks got a second round goal from Artemi Panerin. Crawford then denied Barkov, setting the stage for Panik’s clincher that gave Chicago the bonus point. The Slovak skated straight in on Luongo before ripping a wrister top shelf to send the crowd of 21,475 home happy.

Up next for the Panthers is a Thursday date with the Detroit Red Wings in Motown. The Cats will be looking to build on what was a pretty solid effort in Chi-town and post their first win on this tough six-game road trip.

Bows & Arrows

  • The Panthers lost back-to-back games for the first time this month. Florida was 5-0 after a November loss coming into this one.
  • In addition to registering his first assist of the season, Aaron Ekblad led all skaters with six shots on goal. His last shot came close to winning the game late in overtime.
  • Roberto Luongo delivered another quality start in a losing effort. Lu finished with 32 saves and lowered his GAA to 2.11.
  • Richard Panik’s first period goal ended a seventeen game drought. The last time Panik had lit the lamp was on October 22nd against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Jaromir Jagr skated in career game number 1,652, tying him with mark Recchi for fourth all-time and scored his 753rd goal. This was one of Jagr’s best games of the season.
  • Brian Campbell played his first game against the Panthers since leaving the team this summer. The veteran blueliner logged 21:05 TOI and finished with 2 shots and a game-high 5 blocks.
  • The fine-feathered folks at Second City Hockey have the other side of this one for you./