Daily Archives: April 2, 2013
Florida Panthers: 11-19-6 (28 PTS.) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: 15-18-1 (31 PTS.)
GAME DAY SONG: CRYING LIGHTNING
The last month of the season kicks off with a quiet bang as the Florida Panthers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a battle of Eastern Conference bottom dwellers. Although both teams have been playing improved hockey, they still sit at the bottom of the standings and a good distance out of the playoff picture.
The Panthers find themselves riding a 2-game winning streak as a recent surge of inspired play led to overtime victories over the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. One of the main reasons for the Panthers’ recent success has been the play of forward Shawn Matthias who scored an astounding 11 goals during the month of March and constantly ignited the Panthers’ offense when they needed it most. Matthias has become one of the key figures on a Panthers’ team that refuses to quit even if the face of adversity.
“We’re not quitting. We might be down but we keep battling till the end. There were a lot of games that we did battle till the end and didn’t get the end result. Right now guys are maturing. We’re young but there is a fire under us. We want to win every night” - Matthias said after the Panthers’ comeback victory against the New Jersey Devils.
Across the state, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves near the bottom of the Southeast Division, but still within a prayer of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Lightning seemed to be in total disarray after firing Head Coach Guy Boucher, but since the arrival of former Syracuse Crunch Head Coach Jon Cooper the Lightning hope they have found new life.
What better way to spend your lunch break than catching up on all of last night’s amazing NHL action that you may have missed! Here are the top stories and videos from the all of yesterday’s action around the NHL.
- Check out Ryan Callahan’s amazing shorthanded goal against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.
- The Buffalo Sabres have traded Robyn Regehr to the Los Angeles Kings for two 2nd round picks. [TSN]
- The Calgary Flames have traded Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues. [TSN]
- The Maple Leafs open talks with Flames’ goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. [Puck Daddy]
- Scott Hartnell takes to twitter to congratulate his wife on the end of his divorce payments. [Puck Daddy]
- Jesse Spector gives us some insight on Rangers’ forward Mats Zuccarello. [Sporting News]
- Will Sidney Crosby still win the Hart Trophy? [The Hockey News]
- NHL Power Rankings [The Hockey Writers]
- The Canucks are reportedly talking to 4 teams about acquiring Roberto Luongo. [TSN]
- Check out NHL.com’s 3 stars for the month of March. [NHL.com]
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The Florida Panthers used the month of March to revitalize their season and attempt to climb out of the cellar of the Eastern Conference. Although the team does remain in last place in the East, their inspired play during this past month gave their fans something to cheer about in an otherwise forgettable year. The Panthers’ fought and clawed their way to a 5-10-1 record during the month of March, including winning 4 of their last 7 games.
In a month in which they saw some improvement, three players in particular helped lead the Panthers on most nights and it’s time that we reward them for their contributions.
Here are the Florida Panthers’ three stars for the month of March!
Third Star: Jacob Markstrom
After struggling in his first few starts this season, goaltender Jacob Markstrom has settled down and become the Panthers’ number one goaltender heading into the last month of the season. During the month of March, Markstrom compiled a 5-5-1 record - with his 5 victories being only 1 shy of teammates Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen’s combined season total.
The one word that could be used to describe Markstrom’s month is consistency. In his 11 starts this month, Markstrom only allowed more than 3 goals to be scored in 2 games and gave the Panthers a great chance to win every night. Overall, Markstrom allowed 26 goals over his 11 March starts and saved 297 of 323 shots faced - good enough for a .920 save percentage.
Markstrom’s biggest game during the month came in the Panthers 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on March 21st. Markstrom stopped an astounding 44 of 45 Rangers’ shots and finished the night with a 1.00 GAA / .978 SV%.
Highlight Clip From March: