There’s not too much recap here as the Florida Panthers had a team put up a touchdown on them for the second time in three games. This time, the culprit was the cross-state Tampa Bay Lightning, who took advantage of a sloppy effort from the Cats at both ends of the ice in a 7-2 thrashing.
Steven Stamkos opened his goal scoring account for the season in a big way, netting a hat trick by scoring shorthanded, at even strength and capping his night with a power play tally. Valtteri Filppula added two third period goals to drive the nails in the Panthers coffin on this night.
The positives from this game are few. Brad Boyes‘ second goal of the season came on the power play, breaking an 0-for-17 drought to start the season. The only bright spot came from Jonathan Huberdeau, who scored his first of the season with a sick display of hands as he finished a breakaway.
Jacob Markstrom will probably take a lot of heat for giving up six goals on 24 shots but the truth of the matter was that the defense in front of him was abysmal. You need to only look at Tampa’s third and fourth goals to see what Markstrom was working with.
The Panthers come home on Friday for the home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. And the rest of the month gets no easier with the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, and Boston Bruins all coming into Sunrise. It’s still VERY early in the season but if the Panthers have a poor October and find themselves in a huge hole in the Atlantic Division, you wonder what GM Dale Tallon will do to right the ship.
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