Panthers can’t add to lead, drop tough 2-1 decision to Sharks

Aaron Dell stops 39 shots to stymie Cats

Once again, the Florida Panthers failed to extend a two-game winning streak, and succeeded in making a backup goalie look like an All-Star in a 2-1 loss to the visiting San Jose Sharks

Aaron Dell, in for injured number one Martin Jones, made 39 saves to out-duel Roberto Luongo, and the Sharks got the eventual game-winner from Chris Tierney in the third period.

The Panthers opened the scoring with 1:49 left in the first period, after applying sustained pressure after a face-off win, when Colton Sceviour popped the rebound of his redirection of Alex Petrovic's past Dell. Micheal Haley drew the secondary assist on Sceviour's fifth.

Joe Pavelski bagged his 300th NHL goal to knot the score at the 11:20 mark of the second period, with the assists going to Joe Thornton and Timo Meier. Pavelski joined Luongo in the crease to sweep in a loose puck that was pin-balling around below the goal line. The goal was challenged, but ruled to be a good one.

Tierney put San Jose on top 7:13 into the final frame by flipping a rebound off Luongo as he circled behind the net. Melker Karlsson and Brent Burns collected assists on the go-ahead goal that just squeaked over the line before Aleksander Barkov could fish it out. Review was needed for a second time, but the puck did indeed fully cross.

A disappointing result as the Panthers played well enough to at least earn a point, but they came up short again in the goal-scoring department. This was the third time this season the Cats failed to build a three-game winning streak. Florida gets a chance to get back in the win column tonight in Raleigh.

Full Highlights (courtesy of

Teeth & Chum

  • Joe Pavelski became the 19th American-born NHLer to hit the 300-goal mark. Pavelski hadn't scored a goal in his previous eleven outings.
  • Roberto Luongo delivered another quality start, finishing with 30 saves including a nice breakaway denial of Tomas Hertl.
  • Radim Vrbata returned to action and registered two shots in 13:16 TOI. Vrbata has played in 20 games now and failed to light the lamp in 19 of them.
  • Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau each went -2 and combined for just three shots on goal. More was needed in such a close game.
  • Florida's other offensive threat, Vincent Trocheck registered five shots on goal, but couldn't solve Aaron Dell.
  • Speaking of Dell, he raised his record to 4-3-1 and lowered his GAA to a stingy 1.93.
  • Fear The Fin has the tale of how the Sharks gained a split in the season series./