Sunrise, FL – The Florida Panthers were unable to get anything going against the Dallas Stars, losing 3-0 at the BB&T Center Tuesday Night. The shutout adds to an already rocky start to the team’s crucial seven-game homestand, failing to gain any ground for the postseason. The Panthers were trailing by nine points for the final wildcard spot heading into tonight.

After a disappointing 5-2 loss to the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, the Cats hoped to recover offensively after rattling out only 23 shots Sunday night. The performance matched their fewest shots in a game this season, including a dismal second period where only three shots were made. This was Florida’s first meeting against the Stars this season.

The Panthers came out more aggressive in the opening period, generating several scoring chances including one by Derick Brassard, hitting the top corner of the post. Dallas would have better luck, scoring on their fifth shot of the night. Tyler Seguin found the back of the net for goal number 23 against Roberto Luongo who got the starting nod. The move illustrates how disappointed Coach Bob Boughner has been with fellow goaltender James Reimer. Moving up past the blue line, Seguin passed it to left winger Roope Hintz, who quickly flipped it back to him for the give and go score. Following the 5-2 tumble against Tampa Bay, Boughner called the decision to pull Reimer to start the third period an easy one.

Speaking of awkward situations, Brassard is in his own proverbial twilight zone given his near term uncertainty.

Acquired as part of a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 1st for forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann, Brassard’s time in Florida may be fleeting. He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and since the team is trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins by 9 points for the final wildcard spot, Brassard may just be passing on by with the trade deadline looming on February 25th. Regardless, he is certainly making the most of it. He scored his first goal with the Panthers last Saturday against the Washington Capitals as part of their 5-4 overtime win. He also has two assists.

The Cats’ offensive struggles continued for the rest of the game, as all attempts on the net were blocked by Anton Khudobin. Jonathan Huberdeau had a brief one on one with Khudobin early in the second period but was unable to score. The Dallas goaltender would succeed in securing his second shutout of the season. Despite allowing a paltry five shots on goal, the Panthers surrendered a second score, this time to Esa Lindell for his eighth of the year. The assist was credited to Seguin, his thirtieth of the season. He ended the night with two goals and one assist. Matters were further frustrated due to two wasted powerplays, not including the previous one that dragged on from the first period. They went 0-for-4 on the night.

“We didn’t lose the game because we played bad on our end or had a ton of breakdowns defensively, we lost the game because we didn’t generate an offense.” Coach Bob Boughner said.

Vincent Trochek led the team with five shots on goal. He was followed by three other players with four SOG (Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad). Despite 30 shots on goal and a clean 2-for-2 penalty kill, the Panthers were unable to get on the board and fall to 23-24-8. The Dallas Stars improved to 29-22-5. Florida will look to end the two-game skid Thursday as they host the Calgary Flames.

Stat of the Game

With the 3-0 loss, this is actually the first time the Florida Panthers have been shutout this season.

Honoring Our Heroes

The home team honored Korean War Veteran Sidney Weinberger Tuesday night. Weinberger was drafted in September 1951, serving in the 51st Signal Corp which handled communication with General Douglas MacArthur in Japan. He was discharged two years later.

Looking Ahead

February 14 vs. Calgary Flames

February 17 vs. Montreal Canadians

February 19 vs. Buffalo Sabres

Photo Credit – Florida Panthers Twitter

 

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Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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