The Florida Panthers are unfortunately under .500 again after last nights loss to Detroit at Little Caesars Arena.
Florida and Detroit have battled all year long and this match up wasn’t any different.
The Red Wings went up 1-0 in literally :42 seconds.
Panthers fought hard and played well in the first period, out shooting the Red Wings 16-5, but it seemed like some sort of bad omen was around the Panthers becuase they couldnt catch a break getting the puck in the goal.
Aaron Ekblad had a wide open shot opportunity in the 1st period, the shot ended up delaying due to his stick getting stuck under his skate.
Onto the second period where the Panthers out shot the opponent 13-6.
Detroit after scoring on its first shot of the game got one in on the third shot of the 2nd period.
They almost went up 3-0 with 1:23 left in the 2nd but was called back for high sticking, great call refs.
That did not slow the Panthers down at all as they were playing hard all game, in the dwindling seconds remaining in the 2nd period Michael Matheson scored the most glorious goal I personally have ever seen to make it 2-1 just before 2nd intermission, you can watch it here.
That momentum from Matheson’s goal shifted into the 3rd period where Aleksander Barkov, who had 6 Shots that night(finished with 10), finally took one in the net three minutes into the period, to tie it up at two.
Caught in a Red Wings power play, the Panthers let up another goal which is surprising since they have killed 90% of power plays for the last two months, that brought it to 3-2.
That goal was also unfortunate because it was shot by Detroit’s Martin Frk but deflected off Anthony Mantha’s stick(which broke in half) and the goal post. Reimer had no chance with the magic puck that was clearly in his sights until the deflection.
Later in the period Detroit pretty much sealed it 4-2 with a goal from a breakaway by Gustav Nyquist.
Panthers had a good stretch in the 3rd period but could not get the puck in the net.
James Reimer had an off game is easy to say, to allow a goal :42 seconds in the game, or two goals within seven shots, or 4 goals on 19 shots total is unacceptable and he knows it as he said in the post-game press conference.
The rest of the team is by no means off the hook, besides the magic puck goal, this team allowed a heavy breakaway that cost them the game and even if the offense was fighting hard with 40 shots, the defense was lack-luster to say the least.
Panthers look to avoid three straight losses on the road as they face Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday at 5 p.m.
As always you can hear it on 640 The Hurricane.