|@ Panthers (1-0-0)||4||1||2||7|
First Period: Goals Everywhere
The first period started off with a bang with a beautiful goal by Vincent Trocheck just over a minute into the game. The goal was assisted by Jussi Jokinen and Captain Willie Mitchell. The Cats remained physical and powerful in the first five and didn’t give the Flyers too many chances to shoot. When Scott Laughton of the Flyers was sent to the penalty box, Nick Bjugstad and the rest of the power play unit wasted no time and Bjugstad scored on one of his world famous wrist shots. The goal was assisted by Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau. Now, it starts to get a little crazy. Mike Raffl got a penalty for tripping Jonathan Huberdeau and the Panthers decide it would be a good idea to score again, so Reilly Smith got his first goal with the Panthers and the goal was assisted by Brandon Pirri and Vincent Trocheck. As if that wasn’t enough, Jussi Jokinen scored another goal on a tap in from Vincent Trocheck. Oh, and the best part? This all happened within 7 minutes of play.
At this point, the Flyers did the only logical thing they could do: replace goalie Steve Mason with Michal Neuvirth and start some fights. Of course, Erik Gudbranson fought back with valor. Even as the Flyers began to generate more offense, goalie Roberto Luongo was there like a brick wall to stop every shot. With about 5 minutes left in the period, the Panthers and Flyers were both getting decent shots in but Shawn Thornton noticed that the game was starting to slow down so he decided to absolutely obliterate Ryan White in a fight. I mean, did White even really have a chance? With 1:32 left in the period, the Flyers had a couple of good jabs at the net, but Luongo stayed strong and the Flyers were unable to score in the first. At the end of the period, the Panthers led the Flyers 4-0. The Panthers had 12 shots on goal and the Flyers had 11.
Second Period: Gloves Everywhere
The Panthers didn’t seem to lose any momentum coming into the second period. Just 33 seconds into the game, Jaromir Jagr picked up a pass from Aleksander Barkov and drove it to the net. After a few shots from the Flyers, Connor Brickley took down Ryan White because there was clearly a bit of residual tension from the last fight. Shawn Thornton decided he wasn’t done either so he picked a fight with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Brickley got the extra penalty and the Flyers capitalized on their power play and Mark Streit scored the Flyers’ first goal of the night, assisted by Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds. Since these teams just do not like each other very much, it wasn’t long before another tussle occurred, this time between Derek MacKenzie and Brandon Manning.
A few minutes later, after not much action, Jonathan Huberdeau hit a monster of a slap shot that was just barely saved by Neuvirth. Some more physical play around the boards and a few saves by Luongo ultimately led to a Panthers penalty with 5:59 left to go in the period. Derek MacKenzie got a hooking call and the Panthers went on the penalty kill. The Cats thankfully killed the penalty and after a nasty stick to Jonathan Huberdeau’s face, Luke Schenn was sent to the penalty box for 4 minutes for high sticking. The penalty would carry over into the third period. The Flyers had a great look at a shorthanded goal but Luongo used his whole body to keep the puck out of the net. At the end of the period, the Panthers were leading 5-1. While they had 18 shots on goal, the Flyers had 23.
Third Period: Rats Everywhere
Unsurprisingly, the Panthers started the third period off just like the first two. 41 seconds in, Jagr scored his second goal of the night and it was assisted by Brian Campbell and Aleksander Barkov. Derek MacKenzie got yet another penalty, this time for hooking, but some quick Luongo saves prevented the Flyers from capitalizing. After a scrum by the benches in which Vincent Trocheck was violently pushed to the ground, the Flyers’ Evgeny Medvedev was penalized for elbowing and Wayne Simmonds was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, so the Panthers had two full minutes of 5-on-3. The Panthers took advantage of this opportunity and Reilly Smith scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri. The Panthers went back on the 5-on-3 quickly after because Brandon Manning got a high-sticking penalty. The Panthers, however, were not able to score on this one.
After a few minutes of little action, Alex Petrovic was sent to the penalty box on a hooking call. After an event behind the boards caused Willie Mitchell to accidentally hit Luongo on the head with his stick, Luongo fell to the ground and seemed injured but thankfully, he got back up and continued to play. The Panthers were energized by their goalie’s strength and they started to pick up speed again but to no avail. The Panthers ended the game with 30 shots on goal and the Flyers had 38. The Panthers won 7-1!
Honestly, everyone looked good tonight. Vincent Trocheck had a career high 4 points tonight with 1 goal and 3 assists. The Smith-Pirri-Bjugstad line was everything we hoped it to be and more. Reilly Smith had two goals, Nick Bjugstad had one goal, and Brandon Pirri had two assists. Jaromir Jagr embodied the “age is just a number” saying and scored 2 goals. His counterparts, Huberdeau and Barkov, looked good as well. Who could forget about Luongo, who stopped 38 of 39 shots and ended with a save percentage of .974.
Quotes from Coach Gallant
The Panthers will be taking on the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, October 12th at 7:00pm in Philadelphia. This game was a scrappy one, so we expect the same in the rematch. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.