|@ Canucks (17-16-10)||0||1||0||1||0|
The Panthers kept their tradition of scoring early on when Jussi Jokinen put them on the board just over a minute into the game. Reilly Smith set the goal up and was awarded an assist as a result. That whole line dominated the Canucks in the first few minutes of the game but Vancouver got a chance to get some shots in when Steven Kampfer got the first penalty of the game on a holding call. Welcome back Kampfer. It was actually a bit nice to see the Canucks get some shots on goal because it gave the fans a chance to hear some Lu chants from the Rogers Arena. The penalty was thankfully killed, though, and the Panthers got their shot on the power play after a too many men on the ice penalty. They had some of their best opportunities of the game so far but were unable to score. Roberto Luongo made a save that is sure to be one of the top of the month or even season on a Bo Horvat shot after the penalty was killed.
The Panthers have had just as many shot opportunities as the Canucks have, but Luongo has had a much harder time preventing goals than Markstrom has. Luongo’s skills were tested even more when Brian Campbell was penalized for tripping. The Panthers were able to maximize their defense in order to keep their lead. With 30 seconds left in the period, Jonathan Huberdeau scored with the help of his linemates to widen the Panthers’ lead. The goal was assisted by Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. At the end of the period, the Panthers led the Canucks 2-0 but trailed in shots on goal 13-7. The Panthers actually played very well this period. They knew the Canucks were going to come out to play and they came out to score early. In fact, they started and ended the period with goals. As always, they need to shoot the puck more because they are going to tire out Luongo if they continue to put so much pressure on him. Yet, this period was a good framework for the next two.
The Canucks put the pressure on Luongo early in the second but Luongo was right there with them. That is, until Daniel Sedin finally was able to beat him with 14:19 left in the period. It was only about time before Luongo cracked because he was being rammed with shots nonstop. Halfway through the period, the Canucks had double the amount of shots that the Panthers did and that has been and still is very worrisome. The Jagr-Huberdeau-Barkov line had some great chances later in the period but Markstrom made every save. At the end of the period, the Panthers led 2-1 and once again trailed the Canucks in shots on goal 21-15. This period was not nearly as good as the last. The Panthers did not make enough of an effort to get the puck and keep it, and they suffered this period when allowing Daniel Sedin to score. Next period, the Panthers will need to compete like they did in the first, or even at a more accelerated pace, in order to ensure a win. The Canucks undoubtedly want to be the team to end the Panthers’ win streak so the Cats have to be extra aware of that in the third. That magic third goal wouldn’t be too bad either.
The third period started with a Florida Panthers penalty. Willie Mitchell was the suspect this time for holding. Thankfully, the Panthers seem to be consistently good on the penalty kill and this time was no exception. Brandon Pirri and Logan Shaw had some close calls early on but to no avail. The Panthers were finally beginning to even out the shots on goal but Markstrom was looking sharp. The next five minutes consisted of many Panthers shots but still no goals, despite Markstrom pulling the classic Markstrom moves by being far out of the net way too much. The Canucks started fighting back in the last five minutes of the game and Jake Virtanen was the one to get one past Luongo this time to tie the game. The period had been fairly dominated by the Panthers but all it really takes is one shot. Markstrom was on his game in a big way and prevented the Panthers from taking back the lead. At the end of regulation time, the score was tied 2-2 and overtime would be required.
The Panthers came out swinging in the overtime period and had many good opportunities early on. Then, Jaromir Jagr was penalized for hooking and the Panthers would be shorthanded at a very dangerous time. That was all it took. Luongo was scored on just seconds into the power play and the Panthers’ win streak ended. The game ended with a very timely fight including even the coaches and the backup goalies.
Jussi Jokinen gave the Panthers the lead early on a goal from a Reilly Smith pass. That whole line, including Vincent Trocheck, played well tonight and so did the Huberdeau-Barkov-Jagr line. They were responsible for the second goal of the game, which was scored by Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau is now on a three game goal streak. Logan Shaw did not score tonight but he was a big part of the penalty kill as well as in generating offense. Roberto Luongo did not have an easy job tonight but he did his job well, stopping every shot but three. He did his job well and this loss certainly was not on him.
The next game on the Florida Panthers’ road trip will occur on Wednesday, January 16th against the Calgary Flames at 9:30 pm ET. It will be another late night so be sure to stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.