|@ Panthers (3-2-0)||0||2||0||2|
The first several minutes of play were controlled mostly by the Stars who were cycling the puck and getting in on the forecheck. Their work lead to a 3-on-2 chance which they fanned on, and the Panthers started to get involved. Nick Bjugstad had a good opportunity from the left circle but shot wide and shortly after, Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr exchanged shots on goal. Gudbranson leveled Patrick Sharp in the defensive zone corner and then Shawn Thornton nearly blindsided Cody Eakins who was about to take a shot from the slot. Shawn Thornton had a great scoring chance at the front of the net after Quinton Howden skated into the corner on the forecheck and found Thornton in the slot.
The first, second, and third lines for the Panthers all had sustained offensive zone time and were cycling the puck well. Howden’s hard work generated a scoring chance as well as a powerplay later in the period. Overall, it was a quiet 20 minutes of play with the Panthers beginning to generate some offense as things winded down.
The first period began with an abbreviated power play for the Panthers, but once that ended, Jonathan Huberdeau found Aleksander Barkov on the far side and he put it top shelf on what was essentially an empty net. However, the goal was waved off by the official as it appeared Huberdeau may have made contact with Kari Lehtonen causing him to fall. The Panthers elected to use their coaches challenge and the no-goal call was reversed. Shortly after, Reilly Smith found Brandon Pirri at the offensive zone blue line and Pirri went 5-hole on a breakaway to make it 2-0 Panthers. As he scored, he fell fast in to the boards behind the net and briefly went into the locker room before returning to the ice.
Once the Panthers took the lead, the Stars turned things on. Jonathan Huberdeau turned the puck over at the offensive zone blue line and Tyler Seguin eventually scored on a breakaway. They got a powerplay right after the goal and put some quality shots towards Luongo. Luongo made two big consecutive saves with just over a minute to go in the period as the Stars put some pressure on the Panthers near the goal mouth. The period ended with the Stars on a 4-on-3 powerplay after Petrovic went off for roughing and Gudbranson was called for a borderline tripping penalty. Overall, the Panthers had almost no offensive zone time following the Stars’ goal and were seemingly fighting the puck the rest of the way.
The Panthers began the period killing off the Gudbranson penalty from the end of the 2nd. Tyler Seguin fed Jamie Benn in the slot and he put it past Luongo as he beat Derek MacKenzie to the net. The Stars continued to dominate the play as the cycled the puck in the offensive zone for several minutes with the Panthers being able to leave the zone just a couple of times.
The Panthers began to even things out after the halfway mark of the 3rd period, and Brandon Pirri was robbed on a point-blank chance from the slot by Kari Lehtonen. The puck nearly went in just a short while later after bodies went flying in front of the Stars’ net, but Lehtonen laid out and everyone eventually recovered. Tyler Seguin gave the Stars the lead with 3 minutes remaining in the 3rd after his shot was flipped in over the glove of Luongo in tight quarters. Huberdeau came down the ice just after the goal and made a sweet move to get around the Stars’ defender and nearly scored on a wraparound. The Panthers had several good looks as they cycled the puck with Luongo on the bench, but to no avail and they dropped the game 4-2.
The Panthers played a very similar game as they did against the Sabres on Thursday night. They started off well and got offensive opportunities until early in the second period, but the Stars began to take over after the Panthers’ second goal. The Panthers had plenty of opportunities to score between the Stars’ second and third goals but couldn’t convert on any.
Aleksander Barkov now has 6 points – 3 goals and 3 assists – after tallying a goal in the 2nd period, and he also has a three game goal streak. Jagr’s assist on the goal gives him 5 points over his last three games, and Brandon Pirri has scored in 2 consecutive games as well. Pirri’s goal gives him four points in five games this season.
The Panthers will head on the road to Pittsburgh to battle the Penguins on Tuesday, October 20th at 7:30 PM. Be on the lookout for our preview and recap of that game.