|@ Panthers (37-21-9)||1||3||2||6|
The Senators were the primary instigators early into the game. The Panthers were not generating much offense at all and it was starting to take a toll on Luongo. Ottawa was much stronger offensively, but that is not saying much because neither team had any great opportunities in the first half. However, the Panthers have a way of turning things around quickly. Jaromir Jagr led an odd-man rush and scored a goal, assisted by Jonathan Huberdeau and Brian Campbell. The Senators continued to have more chances than the Panthers, though. This finally caught up to the Cats with less than a minute left in the period. Zack Smith scored to tie the game. At the end of the period, the score was tied at 1 but the Panthers led in shots on goal 10-9. The Panthers did not perform to their fullest potential in the first. They did score and they did end up leading in shots on goal, but you wouldn’t know it by their gameplay. The Panthers’ defense wasn’t great either. The Panthers need a full transformation to put them back on track.
Luongo had to make some quick saves to keep the Panthers in the game early in the second period. The first penalties of the game came at 16:11 into the period and they were slashing minors on both Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Karlsson. The Panthers actually had a few decent opportunities on the 4-on-4 but neither team ended up scoring. This didn’t mean that they couldn’t score right after, though. Jussi Jokinen scored a beautiful goal that was assisted by Erik Gudbranson and Vincent Trocheck. Sadly, the lead didn’t last long. Erik Karlsson tied up the game just seconds after the Jokinen goal. The Panthers still yearned for a lead and a fantastic Ekblad shot snuck past the pad of Craig Anderson. The goal was assisted by Vincent Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen. Fourteen seconds later, the Cats were at it again. Jonathan Huberdeau tipped in a goal off of is own rebound to widen the lead. With that goal came a penalty. Huberdeau was called for hooking and the Panthers would head on the penalty kill. They killed the penalty but got cheated out of a power play when Jagr took a stick up high. He lost a few teeth but still headed right back to the bench. There was no call on the play. The second anything happened to the Senators, though, it was game over. A Garrett Wilson high stick did not go unnoticed and the Panthers went back on the penalty kill. Thankfully, the Panthers were successful in doing so. At the end of the period, the Panthers led 4-2 and also led in shots on goal 25-19. Things were looking bleak early in the period for the Cats but they really entered a hot streak around the halfway point. Hopefully, they remain hot into the third.
Jaromir Jagr may have been missing a few teeth, but he wasn’t missing any of his skill and scoring ability. He scored his second of the game in the first few minutes of the third period. The goal was assisted by Vincent Trocheck. Then, the Cats went on the power play because Erik Karlsson was sent to the sin bin on a slashing call. The Panthers could not score on the advantage, but it was not for lack of trying. The Panthers had opportunities galore in the final frame. Vincent Trocheck was tired of assisting goals tonight and decided to score one of his own. The goal was assisted by Reilly Smith. This was the Panthers team that had been missing in these past few games. A quick brawl in front of Luongo’s net yielded a Mike Hoffman tripping penalty. The penalty was killed but the Panthers didn’t seem to mind much. The last few minutes of play were spent trying to give Jagr a hat trick, which was almost successful. However, he could not score. Still, the Panthers walked away with a pretty solid win tonight.
Jaromir Jagr is kinda good. I mean, he’s got a few goals and one of them came tonight to put the Panthers on the board. Oh, and then another came in the third period to put the Panthers up by three. Jussi Jokinen had a great goal and an even greater celly midway through the second. He also assisted the Ekblad goal. In a sick sequence of events, Aaron Ekblad put the Panthers in the lead. Vincent Trocheck scored the team’s sixth goal and also assisted the Jokinen goal, the Ekblad goal, and the second Jagr goal. In addition to assisting the Jagr goal, Jonathan Huberdeau tipped in a goal of his own.
The Panthers will finish off their home stand on Saturday, March 12th, at 7:00 pm ET against the Philadelphia Flyers. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.