Panthers Vs. Penguins: Florida Holds Off Penguins' Attack, Win 3-2

The Florida Panthers (9-6-3) face the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-5-3) tonight in a match-up between two of the top early season teams in the Eastern Conference.

  • Live
5 Total Updates since November 19, 2011
  • Updates 3
  • Articles 2
  • All Updates 5

Florida Panthers Shock Pittsburgh, Beat Penguins 3-2 In Thriller

The Florida Panthers were not supposed to be good this season. Sure, they had a busy offseason and revamped their roster, but most analysts figured they were still another year or so away from being serious threats. Over the past decade, the Panthers have been the NHL’s most dismal franchise; they haven’t made the playoffs since the 1999-2000 season, and they finished in fifth place in the Southeast division each of the last two years. Even if they improved this season, they were only supposed to be mediocre.

Yet the NHL season is now almost a quarter done (19 games in), and the Florida Panthers are looking like true contenders. With tonight’s 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Panthers improve to 10-6-3 on the season, good for 23 points and first place in the Southeast Division. Based on how the Panthers played tonight, it might be time we started taking them seriously.

It’s still early in the season, and yes, this was merely one game. However, the Panthers just played one heck of a game against the Penguins. They allowed the Penguins to score first, breaking the ice only one minute into the game, but they tied the game up six minutes later and didn’t trail again all game long. Against one of the best teams in the Conference at killing power plays, the Panthers converted two of their four opportunities. They took a total of 31 shots on the ’Pens, and their goalie Joseph Theodore kept them in the game by saving 39 out of 41 shots.

Stephen Weiss scored the winning goal for the Panthers with less than four minutes remaining in the game, punching the puck in the middle of a close range scrum. The Penguins desperately tried to even if up over the final few minutes, dominating the puck for the final minute and getting off multiple close-range shots on goal, but the Panthers’ defense held them scoreless. The Cats may only be an early season mirage, but they looked like the real deal tonight.

The Penguins have now lost two games in a row, and they travel home to Pittsburgh to face the Islanders on Monday. Meanwhile, the Panthers stay at home and will face the New Jersey Devils that night. They will be gunning for their fifth home win of the season and their second win in a row.

To join in the conversation about this game and talk with fellow fans, check out the game coverage and recap on SB Nation’s blog for the Panthers, Litter Box Cats.

Continue

Panthers Vs. Penguins: Florida Holds Own In Second Period, Game Tied 2-2

Talk about one heck of a game. After two periods, the Florida Panthers are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-2. The Panthers are giving the Penguins a run for their money, and making a strong case as to why people should start taking them seriously.

The Panthers jumped out to a 2-1 lead, as Tomas Fleischmann scored five minutes into the period, but Jordan Staal for the Penguins responded seven minutes later to tie the game up. Pittsburgh controlled the period shots-wise (17-11), but the Panthers are still only behind overall by three shots.

It was a fast paced, exciting period. Both teams committed one penalty during the period — compare that to Tampa Bay’s three penalties in the second period tonight — and play went back and forth between each end as the Panthers and Pens fought for the upper hand.

If the previous two periods are any indications, we should be in for a wild finish down in Miami tonight.

To join in the conversation about this game and talk with fellow fans, check out the Gamethread on SB Nation’s blog for the Panthers, Litter Box Cats.

Continue

Penguins Vs. Panthers: Tied 1-1 After First Period, Florida Looks Strong

Through one period down in Miami, the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins are tied 1-1. The Penguins jumped out to an early lead, as Chris Kunitz scored a bit over one minute into the game, but the Panthers managed to tie it up when Brian Campbell (yeah, this guy) scored a goal at seven minutes.

If anyone out there is still undecided if the Panthers are for real or merely an early season mirage, be sure to tune in for the next two periods. After letting up that early goal, the Panthers dominated the final 15 minutes of the period; they controlled the puck and kept the action down in the Penguins’ zone, and they finished the period leading in shots 10 to 7. I know it’s merely one period, but the Panthers look good on the ice.

I’m not saying they Panthers are necessarily “for real”….I’m just saying, they look good out there. And that’s more than the Panthers have been able to say at times in recent years.

The one disappointing part of the period for the Panthers was that they had two power plays and couldn’t convert on either of them. If they keep getting so many chances, though, it bodes well for the rest of the game.

To join in the conversation about this game and talk with fellow fans, check out the Gamethread on SB Nation’s blog for the Panthers, Litter Box Cats.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.