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2 Minutes For: Vokoun, MacIntyre & More

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
  Heading into Saturday night’s game at BankAtlantic Center against the Islanders and rookie phenom John Tavares, Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun has pitched three shutouts in his last four games. His goals against in those games is 0.743 and his save percentage is .977. He’s also tied for the league-lead in shutouts now with three along with Ilya Bryzgalov of the Coyotes and Tim Thomas of the Bruins (who was also credited with a shutout last night).

Meanwhile, Cory Stillman’s winning goal in the shootout was a bit of a surprise to Thomas, who told the Boston Herald he was expecting Stillman to try and beat him with a shot from the slot like the two previous Panther shooters, Stephen Weiss and Rostislav Olesz.
“I thought he was going five hole with a shot on me,” said Thomas of Stillman. “So he sold me on the shot and once he went to the side of me, it was a desperation lunge. I didn’t have much of a chance.”
Steve MacIntyre, claimed off waivers earlier in the week, was preparing Friday to leave Edmonton for the Panthers first-place American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. This is MacIntyre’s second stint with the Panthers. He was signed by the Panthers in the summer of 2008 but claimed off waivers when the Panthers tried to send him to Rochester.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to play somewhere,” said the 6-5, 250-pound left winger. “I think its great the (Panthers) want me back. In fact, it’s flattering. They signed me last year and then I went to Edmonton but they’ve picked me up again, so that’s exciting.”
Coach Peter DeBoer called MacIntyre a “monster of a guy” who knows his job.
“You always like guys who know their jobs and know their roles, and Big Mac was very clear what his job was,” DeBoer recalled. “That was to make sure no one took any liberties with any of our players and create room for guys on the ice. There was no gray area, and coaches like guys like that.”
Because MacIntyre has only dressed in 26 games since he was claimed by the Oilers, his first step will be getting in some games.
“It’s important to get the time in Rochester,” MacIntyre said. “I didn’t play a whole lot the past year so I’ll feel a lot better having some time to get some games. I’m actually about 10-15 pounds lighter than last year and I was working out with some good people during the summer. Hopefully, I’ll get some games in, work hard, and maybe get called by the big club.”

DeBoer recalled MacIntyre as a “hard working guy.”
“He’s not going to play 20 minutes a night, so his conditioning isn’t going to be critical for the role he’s going to play,” he said. “But he needs to get into some games. For me, guys like that, you have to be able to play them and get them on the ice. I don’t believe in carrying a guy just to fight. I think they have to be able to go out and compete.”
“We had a bad game in our system.” Rochester American’s coach Benoit Groulx after Thursday’s 6-3 loss to Portland which snapped an 11-game win streak.
Headline in Friday’s Vancouver Sun: Dear Forsberg, come quick, Canuck scoring disappearing.

The Flames play Friday in Buffalo having lost their last seven games in upstate New York over the past 13 seasons.
The Islanders make a stop in Carolina tonight on the second game of their seven-game trip. If the ‘Canes lose tonight, they’ll match a franchise-worst 14 consecutive losses. The last time it happened was way back in ‘92 when the Hurricanes were in Hartford playing at the mall. “If we don’t get a win soon we’re going to be in big trouble,” Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason.
Anze Kopitar, who visits BankAtlantic Center with the rest of the Kings here Monday night, is leading the league in scoring with 30 points, six more than Marian Gaborik, and is now tied with Alex Ovechkin in goals with 14.
Rick MacLeish
Song of the day: ‘Helmethead,’ by Great Big Sea.
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