|@ Panthers (18-12-4)||2||2||0||1||5|
The Panthers got their first power play opportunity of the game just 28 seconds into the game when Alexander Edler was sent to the box for elbowing. Yet, the Panthers just couldn’t generate offense. In fact, they only had one shot on goal in the advantage. The Panthers still possessed the puck more often than the Canucks, but shooting frequency was fairly low in the first five minutes. That is, of course, until Jannik Hansen snuck the puck past Luongo to score on the team’s second shot on goal of the game. The Cats kept trying to get the puck down to the offensive zone but they were unable to get many scoring opportunities once they were there. Then, with 7:34 left in the period, the Panthers finally caught a break. Connor Brickley passed the puck off to Shawn Thornton, who had a perfect shot from right in front of the net. Rocco Grimaldi was awarded the secondary assist. The Canucks called a coaches challenge, saying that that the play was offsides but the call on the ice stood and the game was tied 1-1. This tie did not last long though as the Canucks were able to take the lead again on a Sven Baertschi goal. Then, to add insult to injury, Corban Knight was penalized for holding almost immediately after. The penalty was killed and then it was the Panthers’ turn for a power play. Linden Vey was called for slashing and the Cats had a chance to tie things up again. Jaromir Jagr quickly did just that. The goal was assisted by Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. At the end of the period, the score was tied 2-2. The Panthers edged out the Canucks in shots on goal 13-8. The Panthers started off slow but finished stronger in the end of the first. Still, the Panthers will need to actually shoot the puck when they’re in the offensive zone, or else they will not be able to pull ahead. They cannot rely on luck because in the first period, luck was swayed immensely in favor of the Canucks.
Both teams had a few decent scoring opportunities in the first five minutes of the period but neither team was able to capitalize. After those five minutes, Vincent Trocheck was able to change this. He beat Ryan Miller gloveside to give the Panthers the lead. Willie Mitchell assisted the goal. However, in only a matter of seconds, the Canucks tied the game again on a Derek Dorsett goal. The Panthers had the ability to protect their three-goals-or-more record when Alexander Edler was penalized for hooking. The Panthers continued to excel on the power plays and Aaron Ekblad scored a beauty assisted by Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau. In a true back-and-forth manner, the Canucks were able to tie the game on a Daniel Sedin goal. At the end of the period, the score was tied again, this time 4-4. Once again, the Panthers edged out the Canucks in shots on goal 25-22. Despite the tied score, the Panthers looked better this period by a mile. They were able to shoot and in turn, score. Now, the Panthers need to work on their defense in order to actually keep a lead. With more than three goals scored, the Panthers should have the ability to win this one.
Similarly to in the first two periods, the Panthers and the Canucks started off playing well offensively but not defensively. As the Canucks started to realize this and began to tighten up their defense, the Panthers continued to play as they had been, which could mean nothing good. With 11:16 left in the game, Vincent Trocheck was sent to the sin bin on a tripping call. A few lucky moments and Luongo saves later, the penalty was killed. The game was becoming much more physical but the refs were not calling any additional penalties. With three minutes left in regulation time, the Panthers had not generated much offense and the game was still tied. They started to pick up the pace with just over a minute left but to no avail. The score was still tied 4-4 at the end of the period and the Panthers would go into overtime. The Panthers led in shots on goal once again 34-33.
The Panthers had scoring chances galore early in the overtime period. They were also able to prevent a couple of possible Canucks opportunities. Miller had to make some impressive glove saves to keep the Canucks in the game and he did so successfully. With just thirteen seconds left, Jannik Hansen was penalized for holding and the Panthers finished overtime on a 4-on-3. The Panthers clearly took the cake in overtime but were unable to score, yielding a shootout.
- Brandon Pirri – goal
- Jared McCann – goal
- Jonathan Huberdeau – no goal
- Radim Vrbata – no goal
- Aleksander Barkov – goal
- Sven Baertschi – no goal
Shawn Thornton got his first goal of the season and it sure was a good one. Jaromir Jagr also continued to be incredible by scoring a power play goal late in the first. He also assisted the Ekblad goal, which was also a monumental goal in the Panthers’ victory tonight. Vincent Trocheck gave the Panthers a brief lead early in the second. Willie Mitchell played very well defensively but also offensively tonight and was awarded with an assist on the Trocheck goal. Then of course, with the game winner in the shootout and an assist, Jedi master Aleksander Barkov wowed the crowd.
The Panthers continue their six-day home stand on Tuesday, December 22nd at 7:30 pm ET against the Ottawa Senators. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.