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Panthers Wrap-Up: Penguins 3, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 0 0 1
Penguins 2 0 1 0 3
FLA - S. Upshall (3)
WPG - K. Letang (4), B. Morrow (8), PP-EN - B. Morrow (9)

SUNRISE, Fla —  (AP) - Brenden Morrow scored two goals to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Kris Letang also scored for Pittsburgh and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves. Morrow also had an assist.

"They still have a really good team. They came out really hard and I thought we started the first period playing great and really pushed them back and then they got two goals and after that we tried until the last second to get back. It’s just one of those days."

- Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom on Penguins playing without superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
1. Pittsburgh's Twofer: Already without captain Sidney Crosby, the Penguins also played the game without fellow superstar Evgeni Malkin. It was a great opportunity for the Panthers and with Florida having played Pittsburgh tough in both games this season, a good chance at coming away with the victory. Both teams came out with great scoring chances early in the game but put the puck just wide of the open net. Despite all of the scoring chances, the shot totals were kept low with Pittsburgh holding a 7-6 advantage after 20 minutes. Unfortunately, two of those seven found the back of the net within a four minute span to put the Pens up 2-0 after the period. First it was Kris Letang's bomb from the point finding its way past a bunch of skaters and top shelf past Jacob Markstrom 14:49 in. Then with Markstrom down on the ice after making the initial save, Brendan Morrow picked up the puck from in close and popped off Markstrom with 1:33 left in the frame.

2. Within One: Trailing by two, the Panthers came out strong to start the second period and were rewarded as they found a way to beat Marc-Andre Fleury. With a scrum in front of the net, Scottie Upshall pounced on his own rebound and getting the puck cross the goal line 4:10 in. That gave Florida a renewed sense and they had a golden opportunity to tie it on two seperate power plays. The first one was cut short as Upshall was whistled for a slashing call 48 seconds into the man advantage. Then with Morrow in the box for boarding, the Panthers got their second power play of the night with 7:16 left. They were only able to get three shots between the two power plays but couldn't find a second goal past Fleury in the second.

3. Unable To Find Equalizer: The Panthers kept pressing in the third and had two more power play opportunities but couldn't find the equalizer and the Panthers comeback attempt ended after Erik Gudbranson was sent to the box for a boarding call with 1:48 to play and with Markstrom pulled for the extra skater, Morrow found himself on a breakaway and scored into the empty net with 21 seconds remaining. Following the first period, the Panthers had a lot better pace in their game as they kept the plays simple. Unfortunately it was just one of those days where the offense couldn't find the second and third goals as Markstrom was strong in defeat.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Luke2theWorld: The @FlaPanthers have not one a single game that I have attended, startin to think I'm the problem... #theresalwaysnextyear

@Jess_teamkb: @FlaPanthers even though you didn't win, it was still eventful and a blast to see live, as always!

@jeanlesly3: Even though the @FlaPanthers lost against the Penguins it was a good game to watch, and I can't wait to watch the next game

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Stephanie Iaboni: Poor Panthers, they work hard and don't seem to be able to win.

Tino Perez: It's hard to win against a team like Pittsburgh when they have alot of fire power and they had two of there top players out

Richard Haynes: where is the thumbs down option

Joe Cardamon: Good game...just fell short

Anne Truby Thompson: Poor Panthers...Can't get a break.

3. Getting the Panthers on the board in the second period, forward Scottie Upshall registered his third goal of the season. It was his first goal since March 21 when he scored at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.

After having a successful power play of late, the Panthers man advantage units struggled as they finished with just five shots on four power play opportunities. They had 5:46 overall in power play time.

Forward Tomas Fleischmann led all skaters with five shots on net saw his point streak of seven games (3-5-8) end as he failed to find the score sheet.

Mike Weaver returned to action for the first time since Feb. 28 (at Buffalo) and played 22:02 on 25 shifts. He recorded a Panthers-high four hits and added a blocked shot.

40. It was a tough day in the face-off circle as the Panthers won just 40% of their draws against the Penguins. For Pittsburgh, forward Joe Vitale finished with a game-high 76% winning percentage in winning 13-of-17 draws.

Brendan Morrow
Was involved in all three Pittsburgh goals, picking up the second assist on the first Pens goal and then netting the game-winner and the empty net extra.

2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points, +2, 2 Shots, 14:45 TOI
The Panthers will hit the road for four straight beginning with a tilt on Long Island against the NY Islanders on Tuesday. The Islanders lost a tough game Saturday night falling at Madison Square Garden 1-0 in overtime. There Dan Girardi netted the game-winner at 3:11 of the extra session. Evgeni Nabokov, who finished with 19 saves, has been huge for the resurgent Islanders this season, posting a 20-11-5 record with a .911 SV% and a 2.50 GAA. Currently in seventh place in the East, New York is led offensively by former first overall pick John Tavares (24-18-42 in 42 games) and winger Matt Moulson (13-26-39 in 41 games)..

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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