ABOUT LAST NIGHT is the morning-after recap of last night’s Florida Panthers game produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. It is a followup to Hockey Pat’s hilariously informative gameday article: THE LOWDOWN.
The contents of ABOUT LAST NIGHT and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read ABOUT LAST NIGHT, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.
PANTHERS 3, SHARKS 2
If you didn’t stay up, then you missed a spectacular individual effort. The Florida Panthers rode an astonishing 52 save performance from goaltender Roberto Luongo against the San Jose Sharks all the way to a 3-2 victory at the Shark Tank. The Panthers scored three goals in the second period, including two in a 17 second span, and endured a 29 shot third period blitz to hold onto the huge win.
Numbers on the Board
52: Saves made by Luongo.
5: Times in his Panthers’ career, including last night, that Luongo has made 50 or more saves. He is 4-1 in those games. The one loss? A 57 save performance in a 3-2 loss against Detroit in 2002.
6: Number of Panthers’ wins in franchise history when their goaltender has made 50 or more saves. They are 6-1-1 in those games.
29: Number of shots taken by the Sharks in the third period last night, a San Jose franchise record. Lu turned away 28 of those 29 shots.
Second Period Power
The Panthers turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in hurry last night, netting two goals in a 17-second span in the second stanza. Brandon Pirri jumpstarted the offense, scoring his ninth of the season, and third with the Panthers, at 11:23 into the frame. On the ensuing shift, the Cats struck again as Quinton Howden found the back of the net with assists from Pirri and Jimmy Hayes.
The trio of Hayes-Pirri-Howden continues to be the hottest line on the team. With two points last night, Pirri now has seven (3-4-7) in his last five games. Howden continued his streak of recording a point in each of his four games (3-1-4) with the Panthers this season, and Hayes has nine points (5-4-9) in his last nine games.
Reppin’ on the West Coast
Swimming With Sharks
The Sharks have been one of the most dominant teams over the past decade and an important part of that dominance has been the distinct home-ice advantage they have had over the years.
None of that matters for the Panthers who, for some reason, seem to enjoy playing in San Jose. The Cats have won their past three games at the Shark Tank and the Sharks have not beaten the Panthers in the Bay since December 8, 2005.
The Sharks have been especially tough at home this season. Their loss to the Cats last night was only their fifth home loss in regulation as the team has compiled a record of 25-5-4 at SAP Center.
The Panthers win also put an end to San Jose’s six-game winning streak, terminating any early Shark Week celebrations in Silicon Valley.
The Panthers blocked 24 shots last night compared to the nine blocked by San Jose. That is the type of gritty performance required to beat a top team like the Sharks.
The Cats also killed off four straight penalties in the third period including 51-seconds of a 5-on-3 opportunity.
Boyes and the Sharks
The game last night was a homecoming of sorts for Brad Boyes… well kind of. Boyes made his NHL debut with the Sharks but that would turn out to be the only game he played with the team.
Boyes made his debut with the Sharks on March 7, 2004. He was traded to the Bruins on March 9 for D Jeff Jillson. Boyes has 168 career NHL goals so far, Jillson stopped at nine.
Luongo Highlight Reel
If you stayed up late to watch the entire game last night you are probably just as bleary-eyed and delirious as I am. This being the case you are probably sick of reading, so let’s finish with some easy-to-digest videos, to take us to the finish. The Cats are in Phoenix on Thursday. Until then enjoy the afterglow from last night.