At the one minute mark, Tomas Kopecky left a drop pass for Shawn Matthias that almost found it’s way into the net, but Luongo, fresh off a shutout, is looking very sharp tonight.
Samuelsson had a quick one on zero against Luongo, nearly evening the score with some nifty stickwork at the four minute mark, but did not connect and the Panthers stayed scoreless, but not for long.
At the five minute mark, Dmitry Kulikov pulled the Cats even with his fourth goal of the season on a slapshot off a rebound from the left faceoff circle. Assists were awarded to Marcel Goc and Shawn Matthias.
Just a minute later, Kulikov was called for hooking ex-Panther Chris Higgins. On the ensuing power play, Matthias and Jason Garrison nearly put the Panthers on top with an odd-man short handed rush.
Dale Weise was called for holding Kulikov with nine minutes gone in the period for the Panthers second power play opportunity of the night.
The Cats went on an unrelenting assault of Luongo, and pulled ahead, 2-1 with Marcel Goc’s fourth goal of the season in the middle of a scramble in front of the Vancouver net. Assists were awarded to Samuelsson and Versteeg.
Florida only allowed the Canucks two shots throughout the period, tying a season low.
Hits: Panthers, 19-14
Blocked Shots: Tied, 10-10
Faceoffs: Panthers, 18-17
Shots On Goal: Panthers, 20-12
Score: Panthers 2, Canucks 1