Recap: Panthers @ Blackhawks, 10/22/15

Final 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Panthers (3-3-1) 1  0 1 2
@ Blackhawks (4-3-0) 1 1  1 3

First Period

Most of the beginning of the 1st was spent in the Panthers zone. The Blackhawks were exiting their own zone quickly and skating right through the neutral zone with ease. They didn’t get many chances until Patrick Kane made a lateral pass at the blue-line to Artem Anisimov who sped in up the right wing, took the puck, and blew by Dave Bolland and Steven Kampfer to tuck the puck past Roberto Luongo. The goal was made possible because Steven Kampfer was flat-footed and failed to get physical with Anisomov, while Dave Bolland floated through the slot and seemingly did not communicate with Kampfer. Add to that the fact that Dmitry Kulikov was a little slot to react to Anisimov carrying the puck to the crease, although Kampfer sort of caused that. However, 34 seconds later, Vincent Trocheck tapped the puck on the backhand past Corey Crawford after a scrum at the front of the net to tie the game at 1.

Some other notes from the 1st period:

  • The Blackhawks were entering the zone very easily and most of the time, the Panthers’ defensemen didn’t have very good gap control and were getting caught flat-footed, allowing Chicago’s speedy forwards to skate past them.
  • Aleksander Barkov made a big play defensively as the Blackhawks would have scored on a net-front scrum were it not for his clearing of the puck.
  • The first half of the period was evenly matched, but after that, the Panthers began to get a little sloppy with the puck and were getting stuck in their own zone. The Panthers had just 3 scoring chances will the Hawks had 13
  • Roberto Luongo was strong in the period, coming up big on guys like Toews, Hinostroza, and Panarin. He made a bunch of big saves in the last 5 minutes of the 1st to keep the game tied at 1 going into the intermission.

Second Period

The Panthers started the period off with back-to-back penalties with Jaromir Jagr going to the box for holding and Steven Kampfer going off for hooking shortly after Jagr left. The Panthers would pay for their penalties when a Brent Seabrook point shot found the back of the net almost right after the Kampfer penalty began. Jaromir Jagr had two great chances right after the Blackhawks goal, but Crawford made a Luongo-esque glove save on the rebound opportunity from the slot.

Some other notes from the 2nd period:

  • Jonathan Huberdeau needs to shoot the puck. Jagr fed him the puck and he danced through the slot, but instead of shooting front the top of the blue paint, he decided to find Jagr again and the play ended.
  • The 4th-line was very effective in the 2nd period. Connor Brickley drew an offensive zone penalty nearly halfway through with some hard work and good puck pusuit along the boards, and Quinton Howden just before the end of the power play which allow them to break in for a scoring opportunity. Honestly, I’d have no issue giving this line more ice time. They are technically the bottom line, but they bring it every shift and are relentless on the forecheck. And not to mention, they scored 2 straight goals to earn the Cats a point the other night vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Aleksander Barkov left the bench just after the halfway point of the period after blocking a slapshot with his hand. He sat on the bench for a minute or two applying ice and trying to flex his hand before heading to the dressing room. Brandon Pirri took his spot on the top line.
  • The Panthers’ penalty kill was strong in the middle 20. They killed off three of the four penalties they were called for in the 2nd and the period ended before they could kill off the 5th.
  • Continuing on from the last point, the Panthers need to tighten up and play more disciplined. They were shorthanded for half the period because of bad penalties, and they’re lucky the Blackhawks converted on only one of them. Because of this, the Panthers had almost no offensive opportunities as evidenced by their 1 scoring chance to the Blackhawks’ 5.
  • Roberto Luongo was a brick wall again and was the team’s best penalty killer in the 2nd. He was the reason the Panthers were down by just one goal at the end of the period

Third Period

The Panthers began the period with time left on the penalty kill after Trocheck was called for a high-sticking penalty at the end of the 2nd. Not only that, but Aleksander Barkov would not return to the game after sustaining a hand injury in the 2nd period. Things got worse when Patrick Kane received a pass, skated up the left wing on the power play and roofed a backhand shot on Luongo after getting past the defenders to make it 3-1 Blackhawks. Shortly after, the Panthers went on a 5-on-3 power play after a 4-minute double minor on the Blackhawks for high-sticking and a subsequent delay of game call. On the power play, Jaromir Jagr would stuff home a garbage goal after a cross-ice pass stopped on the goal line next to Corey Crawford’s left pad, and suddenly the Panthers were down by 1.

Some other notes from the 3rd period:

  • Insert obligatory “Luongo was solid” statement here. Oh yeah, and thank the post because it saved a Teuvo Teravainen goal with 3 minutes left in the 3rd.
  • Dave Bolland took his second offensive zone penalty of the night. His second. While we were on the power play.
  • The penalty kill came through again after the brief 4-on-4 expired early in the period by killing of their 6th of 8 total penalties on the night. It’s unfortunate that the Panthers had to be on the penalty kill so often tonight, because it took time away from their own offensive zone time and because they were pretty decent at even strength. The 7th penalty for the Panthers, which was really a dive by the Blackhawks, was called on Jagr and came with 2:21 left in the 3rd. Jokinen was called for high-sticking with 2.1 seconds left in the game, epitomizing the night for the Panthers.
  • The line of Huberdeau – Bjugstad – Jagr looked good for the short amount of time they played with Barkov out. They got some good looks in the offensive zone towards the end of the period.

Wrap-Up

Penalties. Times 7. The story of the night for the Panthers was their undisciplined play, and pretty much all of them were poorly timed. Luongo was spectacular and kept them in all night, but if you’re on the penalty kill for almost 16 minutes, that’s less time spent in the offensive zone. Once again, the Panthers really didn’t sustain much offensive pressure tonight aside from their 5-on-3 power play, and they lost Barkov to a hand injury, so not much went their way tonight.

Jaromir Jagr now has 5 goals in 7 games this season after scoring tonight, and Vincent Trocheck has his 2nd goal of the season and 1st point since his 4-point game back on opening night.

At least we didn’t have to hear Chicago’s goal song too much tonight.

The Panthers will head to Dallas to face the Stars on Saturday at 8 PM for the final game of their 3-game road trip. Be on the lookout for our preview and recap of that game.

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