After Saturday night’s pasting by the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers started out the game with much more zip and energy. Unfortunately for them, Canes goaltender Cam Ward showed up. Again. Out shooting the Hurricanes 12-9, Ward made all 12 saves to hold the Panthers scoreless in the first while Carolina scored twice on Panther’s netminder Scott Clemmensen.
The Canes would score again in the second period when Jordan Staal put one past Clemmensen, making it 3-0. A which would hold up until Panther rookie Jonathan Huberdeau tipped in a Peter Mueller cross ice pass to give the Panthers life in the closing minutes of the middle period. The score would remain 3-1 until the closing minute of the final frame when Huberdeau scored again with the Panther net empty for the extra skater to make it 3-2 with 55 seconds left.
The Panthers seemed to play two different games having energy in the first, a lull for most of the second and third, then showing some life late in the third. But too little too late once again, as they just ran out of time. Clemmensen was visibly upset after the game, spoke quickly and softly and said:
“It’s a 60 minute game. And we all have to play 60 minutes”.
With the injury to Jose Theodore, Jacob Markstrom was recalled from San Antonio, however his equipment didn’t make it on the flight. Goalie coach Robb Tallas had to dress as the backup, and took part in the pre game warmups and was on the bench until Markstrom’s equipment arrived and Markstrom appeared on the bench with under five minutes remaining in the opening period.
The Kid Line did their job, working hard and creating chances. The trio combined for 15 shots on goal, and four points with Mueller getting two helpers, and Huberdeau getting two goals. Huberdeau now leads the team in goals with 10.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum is and has been the play of Stephen Weiss. In over 16 minutes of ice time tonight the veteran had no shots on goal, was a -1, and was virtually invisible. Again. He did not take any important faceoffs late in the game, and was nowhere to be found in the closing minutes obviously due to his performance. This is becoming a nightly ritual for Weiss, and honestly for a player who is in a contract year it boggles the mind as to why there is absolutely such poor effort. It appears as though he has checked out, and has no interest in checking back in. Weiss is in the final year of a six year contract, and his value is dropping faster than a car that’s falling off a cliff. Whatever is troubling the long time Panther center it needs to get fixed now. Although we’ve been saying this almost the entire season. We’re running out of time, and I have a feeling so is he. Dave will have more on this game in the morning.
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