SUNRISE, Fla. — Stephen Weiss has been a key player for the Florida Panthers for several years, but he was relegated mostly to the role of spectator in the third period of Sunday's 4-1 loss against the Boston Bruins.
Weiss received only 1:14 of ice time in the third period on only two shifts. He didn't play in the last 6:01 while the Panthers were trying to rally from a 3-1 deficit.
The longest-tenured member of the team, Weiss still leads all Panthers forwards in ice time, as he did in the last two seasons.
But Weiss is enduring a rough season, with one goal and three assists in 14 games and a team-worst minus-11 ratio.
Weiss ended up playing 15:12 against Boston, his lowest amount of ice time since Kevin Dineen took over as coach prior to the start of last season — except for a Dec. 22, 2011 game against Ottawa when Weiss got injured.
Dineen said Weiss' lack of third-period playing time was related to performance.
"That was to do myself a favor," Dineen said. "For the last year and a half, I looked down if we're in a man short or on the power play or whatever I needed, I'm always looking at that number. That made it much easier for me to have him sitting there and not be part of the equation with the quality of hockey he's playing right now."