Florida Panthers came back home to face-off against the Washington Capitals Thursday night at the BB&T Center.
As we saw the other night in Dallas, James Reimer went down with an injury, and it was announced Thursday he suffered a pulled groin.
Harri Sateri got the start, and recent AHL recall Samuel Montembeault served as Sateri’s backup.
At the BB&T Center the Panthers have won 5 of their last 6 games, looking to at least continue the winning at home as opposed to losing 5 of their last 6 games on the road.
To start the game Panthers came out on fire, in the first 10-minutes they out shot the Capitals 8-4 while drawing two power plays.
Denis Malgin got the Panthers on deck first making a slick goal between the Caps Halby’s legs at the 8:58 mark.
After the aggressive beginning to the game they let go significantly by allowing the Capitals to go from 4 shots on goal to 10 shots and getting one in the net off of a power play. The Capitals were just rummaging the Panthers line at this point of the period and the Panthers couldn’t get out of the bad situation, only shooting twice more since their goal.
Denis Malgin once again gave the Panthers the lead this time in the 2nd period, shying him 1 goal from a hat trick.
What makes facing the Capitols difficult, is the Alexander Ovechkin, who assisted on their first goal, immediately replied to Malgins goal with one himself tying the game once again.
John Carlson got another goal in shortly after giving the Capitols their first lead of the night.
Once again after the Malgin goal the Panthers shutdown offensively, only shooting 9 times again, while defensively giving twice as many opportunities to the Capitols which is how they were able to tie and eventually take the lead.
The Capitals sealed the deal with another goal early in the 3rd period which was off a power play that carried from the last period.
Though the Panthers had the most shots in the 3rd period (14) they still could not catch up.
Probably the most exciting thing from this game, besides Malgin one goal away from a hat trick, was Vincent Trocheck showing his attitude with 3 seconds left.
You can’t really see what the cause was, but Trocheck was put in a light choke hold by Wilson of the Capitals and a light scuffle caused a heavy delay with Trocheck still mouthing off as the referees escorted him off the ice.
Don’t count the Panthers out, they are still a strong team with potential.
Coach Bob Boughner has turned this team into an aggressive team with fight in their blood (literally and figuratively).
These last four games have been against teams with strong winning records with 3 of them being their division leader.
Reimer could be back after the All-Star break and give Sateri a rest.
If not though, Sateri needs to do one thing to make him a stout goalie, and that’s increasing his puck awareness.
Many times he looks out of sorts or confused during play, but ultimately his teammates cannot allow teams to march down the ice and stay there to make him even more uncomfortable.
Don’t forget Aleksander Barkov heads to his first All-Star game in Tampa January 28th.
Panthers get to see the Islanders Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. January 30th at the Barclays Center.
Catch the action with Doug Plagens on 640 The Hurricane.