Panthers Battered And Bruised In Loss To Hurricanes
If youâ€™re the Florida Panthers, you might want to have a chartered jet on standby on a runway in San Antonio. Jose Theodore, Scottie Upshall and Dmitry Kulikov all left with injuries Saturday nightâ€™s thrashing at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes, forcing an already short-handed team looking towards their American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, for help.
Scott Clemmensen came on for Theodore early in the first and allowed three goals in his eight minutes to put the Panthers in an deep, early hole. Shawn Matthias would get one back at the end of the first to give Florida some life but, thatâ€™s as close as the score would get. Riley Nash (yet, another player getting his first goal of the season/career against the Panthers) and Eric Staal would add goals in the second period while Filip Kuba would score his first as a Panther to close out the frame 5-2. Staal would an embarrassingly easy goal in the third to close out the scoring.
The only thing of note to take away from this game from a Florida perspective was a third period fight from Stephen Weiss, his first since 2003. Apparently upset from being the recipient of a clean, hard body check from Justin Faulk late in the second, Weiss came out searching for the Hurricanes defenseman in the third and greeted him with an elbow that led to them dropping gloves. Weiss was given the game misconduct for negating to have his sweater tied down (kind of inexplicable considering he apparently came out with intent to go after Faulk), leaving an already short-handed team down another player.
The fight in question:
These same two teams will go at it again early Sunday evening, which is about the only good news Florida can take from this game. Itâ€™s unclear as of this writing exactly who will be coming into town from the Rampage but, at the very least, you can expect Jacob Markstrom to be there as it looks like Theodore is out for the immediate future. After the game, the Miami Heraldâ€™s George Richards indicated that Nolan Yonkman would be a likely candidate to get a call up to fill in for Kulikov. Regardless of the injuries, this was the worst game from Florida since the early five game losing streak in January. The defense to a man was terrible in front of Clemmensen and he didnâ€™t do a whole lot to bail them out. If Coach Kevin Dineen wants to know what kind of team he has in his room, Sundayâ€™s reaction to this disaster of a game will tell him a great deal. Frank will have more in his game day preview a little later on in the day, puck drop is set for 6pm at the BB&T Center.
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