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Panthers Wrap-Up: Penguins 4, Panthers 1

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 1 0 1
Penguins 0 2 2 0 4
FLA - M. Repik (2)

PIT - S. Sullivan (8), E. Malkin (18), T. Kennedy (6), J. Neal (22)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Evgeni Malkin scored late in the second period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 Friday night.

Steve Sullivan Tyler Kennedy, and James Neal also scored as the Penguins snapped a six-game losing streak, their longest since 2006, and got their first multigoal effort in the past six games. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots.

"We didn't have the intensity level as they did. They came in here with an attitude that they were going to do whatever it took to win and it looked like we were looking for an easier way to win the game. This time of year against a team that's lost it that has had success before, you know that you're going to have to play a solid all-around game and that would be an understatement to say we were anywhere close to that."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Penguins Shooting Gallery: Desperate to not lose seven in a row, the Penguins came at the Panthers hard and the hosts could not match the visitors energy through the first two periods. Pittsburgh could have easily had a two, three or four goal lead if not for the stellar play of Scott Clemmensen, especially in the first. The Panthers netminder did have some help from the pipes behind him, especially on the Penguins first power play of the night mideway through the first as the visitors hit three pipes over the two minute span. But Clemmensen was big in stopping a couple of Penguins breakaways. The first came with the Pens shorthanded as Matt Cooke found himself on a breakaway. Clemmensen made the save with his right blocker pad with 6:02 gone in the contest. Then Clemmensen got just enough of a Chris Kunitz shot with 1:39 as the puck also deflected off the crossbar and out to safety. Pittsburgh blitzed Florida with 18 shots in the first period and followed up with another 14 in the second period.

2. Miscues Give Pens Two In Second: Unbeatable in the first, Clemmensen was the cause of his own demise early in the second, leading to the first Penguins goal. Pressured on a dump in, the Panthers goalie came the puck right to Cooke who fed Steve Sullivan for an easy goal 1:39 into the frame. Pittsburgh got their second of the night as a blocked shot in the offensive zone and a pinched defenseman allowed Evgeni Malkin to race down the ice on a two-on one with time winding down. Clemmensen stopped Malkin's original shot but the Russian sniper followed up his own rebound, banking it in off of Clemmensen from the goal line with just 34.8 seconds left on the clock. That literally was a back-breaker with the second goal late in the period.

3. Little To Cheer About In A Long While: For the majority of the season, the Panthers had given their fans exciting games at the BankAtlantic Center. Coming into the game, all but four of the 20 games were one-goal contests. Make that five of 21 as Pittsburgh did not give Florida fans a lot to cheer about. Only down two, entering the third, Pittsburgh made it a three-goal lead just 36 seconds into the third as Tim Kennedy put one over Clemmensen's shoulder. A couple of awes throught out the game from the home crowd as the Panthers had some chances throughout the contest. The loudest cheer came as Michal Repik finally got the Cats on the board 6:55 into the third. The forward redirected a Jason Garrison shot past Marc-Andre Fleury for his second of the season. Any chance of a comeback, despite some good chances by the top line, went out the door when James Neal scored with 4:17 remaining.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@rinkside: Rough night for the #FlaPanthers. I blame @mdnightwriter, who attended. Whenever he's in a hockey town, the home team loses.

Pretty upset that the #FlaPanthers lost to the #Pens -____- #sucks

#flapanthers did not come out to play tonight. Offense a no show. Really wanted the two points and disappointed.

#FlaPanthers heads weren't in the game today. Horrible passing and not enough opportunities were taken advantage of.

Hope this game serves as as much of a wakeup call to the team as it has to me. #flapanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Howard Versteeg: I hope they come out with a little more hustle. They looked flat tonite

Alex Dunning: Pittsburghs really been struggling. they were due for a win. just wish it wasnt tonight

Christian Dirmann: i hope the cats regroup cuz this was painful to watch.

Mark Zola: This team needs to turn it around and fast..without this division standing we'd be in a bad spot

Kyle Pehlke: These Panthers are looking like the old ones. Shoot the net more and make it count. I thought Clemmenson played a good FIRST period. Other than that he let in some bad goals. But that's also the Panthers fault for not doing their job. Tough loss. And we really need to get some W's before we lose the division lead.

2. Friday night was for fighting as the Panthers and Penguins squared off in two fights in the game. First it was Krys Barch and Aaron Asham squaring off less than five minutes into the game (4:39 to be exact). Then just over a period later, Erik Gudbranson and Eric Tangradi dropped the gloves (4:47 for exact timing).

If there was one bright spot in the game, it came via the Panthers penalty kill as they denied Pittsburgh from scoring on all three of their opportunities. That is now eight straight penalties the Cats have killed off dating back to the third period of the January fifth game against the New York Rangers.

15. Pittsburgh finished with a pretty huge shot advantage as they outshot the Panthers by 15. The Penguins registered 41 shots on net while Florida had just 26.

Picking up the primary assist on the Panthers goal as his shot was redirected home by Michal Repik, Jason Garrison potted his 19th point of the season. That is already a career high, surpassing last season's 18 achieved in 73 games. He accomplished the feat in just 43 games this season..

34.8. Up by a goal and time winding down in the second, the Penguins made it a two goal game with just 34.8 seconds remaining on the clock as Evgeni Malkin followed up on his own rebound.

Evgeni Malkin
The Penguins big gun seemed to be all over the ice Friday night as he finished with a game-high seven shots on net. One of those resulted in the game-winning goal late in the second period.

1 Goal, 7 Shots, +2
It's another two days off before the Panthers play their last on a three-game homestand with a meeting against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins. Florida and Boston have split their first two meetings but it will be the first matchup in Sunrise. The Panthers shut out the Bruins 2-0 on December 8th. Boston returned the shut out favor, in a dominating fashion as they shut out Florida 8-0 on December 23rd. The Bruins, who are currently second in the Eastern Conference with 57 points, are led offensively by second year center Tyler Seguin (38 points in 39 games) and Patrice Bergeron (36 points in 40 games). Both Bruins goalies, Tim Thomas and Tukka Rask have been stellar this season with Thomas posting an 18-7-0 record, .939 save percentage and a 1.95 goals against average. Rask has been even better with a 10-4-1 record, .945 save percentage and a 1.59 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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