|@ Panthers (8-8-3)||0||0||1||1|
Both teams were able to get possession time in the early minutes of the game, but the amount shots in the first five minutes were definitely skewed toward the Ducks. The Ducks’ Cogliano had a breakaway early in the period but Luongo was able to stop the shot. At the halfway point of the game, the Panthers began to gain some momentum but to no avail. At this point, the Panthers only had a quarter of the shots that the Ducks had. Many of the Panthers’ shots were deflected or hit the post. The first frame was fairly lackluster, with no goals or penalties. The Panthers had 7 shots on goal, while the Ducks had 16. The Panthers definitely looked tired this period. Their defense wasn’t great but in order to win this game, the Panthers need to focus on their offense. The Panthers have had fairly good luck with the Ducks in the past, so to win, all they have to do is to channel whatever it was that made them so successful against this team.
Luongo had to make some quick saves in order to keep the game scoreless early in the second. One of those shots was even aimed at his head, but Luongo has proven to be tough beyond expectation in situations like these. Shortly after the head shot, Jaromir Jagr was given the first penalty of the game on a hooking call. Thankfully, the penalty was killed. Shots-wise, the Panthers had a long way to go. However, the difference their in gameplay was extremely evident this period. They were actually getting decent scoring opportunities. With 11:55 left in the period, Aaron Ekblad was called for holding and the Panthers went on the penalty kill again. At the end of the penalty, the score was still tied at zero. A minute after this, Chris Stewart was penalized for holding the stick and the Panthers finally got a power play opportunity. The Ducks got a breakaway opportunity and Luongo made the undisputed save of the year to prevent a shorthanded goal.
Luongo should be proud of the saves he made in this time period, but the rest of the team should be embarrassed because they gave the Ducks so many shorthanded opportunities. Right after the penalty ended, Patrick Maroon and Shawn Thornton got in the longest fight ever (an exaggeration, but it was a very long fight) that ended in a draw. They each got five for fighting, but the penalties didn’t end there. Jaromir Jagr was sent to the sin bin for holding shortly after. This time, Cam Fowler was able to score to put the Ducks on the board. At the end of the period, the Ducks were leading by one. The Ducks had 33 shots on goal while the Panthers had a mere 14. This period, the Panthers improved their offense but their defense suffered in doing so. Even on the Panthers’ power play, the Ducks were able to get a few shots in. Next period, the Panthers need to balance their defense and offense in order to create scoring opportunities but also prevent Anaheim from scoring.
This period started just as the other two had: the Panthers seemed to be doing well but the Ducks quickly took over. After a few botched calls, the Ducks finally got a penalty. This time, it was Bieksa for high sticking. The very frustrating two minutes on the man advantage did not result in much at all. In a brawl that included multiple players from both teams, Kevin Bieksa came out as the main offender and was called for roughing. The Anaheim Ducks got a chance on a turnover and took full advantage of it, allowing Andrew Cogliano to score a shorthanded goal to widen the lead. The game was looking fairly bleak but with 4 minutes left, Barkov scored to instill a little bit of hope in the team and fans. The goal was assisted by Jaromir Jagr. Then, Luongo was pulled and the extra attacker came on the ice. This gave Anaheim the perfect opportunity to score an empty netter and secure the win, 3-1. The Ducks didn’t even play that well tonight, but they were able to actually get the puck on the net, which is quite necessary in order to allow a team to score and eventually win.
Luongo made close to 40 saves this game and if it wasn’t for him, the Ducks would’ve scored many more than 2 goals tonight. It seemed to be turnover central tonight and there were a lot of Panthers passes to nobody in particular tonight. Luongo had to save more shots than he should have. Barkov’s goal wasn’t enough to give the Panthers the win but it was enough to make it so the Panthers weren’t a total disappointment tonight.
Your Florida Panthers will be taking on the New York Rangers at home on Saturday, November 21st at 7:00 PM ET. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.