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Panthers Wrap-Up: Penguins 5, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 0 0 1
Penguins 2 2 1 0 5
FLA - PPG - S. Upshall (6)
PIT - PPG - C. Kunitz (14), J. Vitale (1), E. Malkin (7), J. Neal (8), J. Jokinen (9)

SUNRISE, FLA —  ( - Seven weeks after a less-than-memorable NHL debut, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff had a lot more success in his second visit to BB&T Center.

It helps to have Evgeni Malkin in the midst of a hot streak..

"The mistakes went back to us again. We have to decide if we're going to be a mentally focused team. We have 40 shots; we outchance them, we outshoot them, they capitalize on their opportunities. A good team does that. … It's a frustrating situation."

- Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek.
1. Shots But Behind: The Panthers controlled play in the first period for large parts of time as they ultimately outshot the Penguins 15-6 in the frame but found themselves trailing after 20 minutes. Pittsburgh backup Jeff Zatkoff got the call for the second game this season against the Cats and the Panthers greeted him with chances from all around. Four players had multiple shots on net. The shot total was helped by three power play attempts (five shots). Pittsburgh however had the lead thanks to their lone power play of the frame. There, Chris Kunitz, alone in the slot, fired a shot past Tim Thomas with 9:15 to play. Then 32 seconds later, Joe Vitale scored from in close as the play went to video review but showed that the puck just crossed the goal line. 

2. No Goal, Goal And An Answer: The second period saw four goals but only three would count. Evgeni Malkin made it a 3-0 lead for the Penguins on the rush with 7:23 gone. Then it looked like the Panthers would finally get on the board less than three minutes later as Sean Bergenheim threw the puck on net after skating around on a wraparound net. The puck went off of Brad Boyes skate and past Zatkoff with 9:45 to play. Toronto overturned the goal however deeming that Boyes kicked the puck in. Florida finally got on the board with 2:17 left in the period as Scottie Upshall scored a beautiful backhand from Jonathan Huberdeau on the rush but the Pens retook a three goal advantage 29 seconds later as James Neal scored off the feed from Malkin.

3. One Team Buries Opportunities: Florida ended up posting 40 shots on the Pens netminder but Upshall was the only one to find the back of the net. Pittsburgh, on the flip side, was able to chase Thomas after two periods of play (the first time he's been removed from a game not due to injury). Pittsburgh only had 22 shots on net in the game but made them count. Pittsburgh netted their fifth of the game off a turnover as Malkin set up Jussi Jokinen with 6:10 gone in the third period to put a cap on the night for the visitors. Pittsburgh finished with six, seven and nine shots in each of the periods compared to Florida's 15, nine and 16.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@scheibner4598:Sometimes it's so freaking hard to be a @FlaPanthers fan. :(

@travistrainer: @FlaPanthers thank you so much for the upgrade to club red during the third period tonight! #flapanthers @PanthersYormark @lourdes_g

@Canadianmike777: @BigOShow @FlaPanthers total buzz kill tonight.our Cats just can't score.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Darrell Franz: UGLY JUST UGLY!!!!!

Riley Destin: C'mon panthers!

Cara Kondaki: Depressing!

1. Florida was whistled for just one penalty on the night but Pittsburgh made them pay as Chris Kunitz scored 34 seconds into a Dmitry Kulikov tripping penalty.

12. Forward Scottie Upshall has been on fire in the month of November. After getting the Cats on the board in the second period with his sixth of the season, Upshall posted his 12th point of the month (6-6-12), matching his career-high in points in a month in which he recorded 12 points during December of 2009.

18. The Panthers finished with a season high 40 shots on net and all 18 skaters had at least one shot on net. Jimmy Hayes had a game-high four shots on net.

32. The Penguins built a two-goal lead in a matter of 31 seconds midway through the first as Chris Kunitz (power play) and Joe Vitale scored.

42. Florida finished the game outhitting Pittsburgh 42-26. Hayes also led the way in that category with six while Dylan Olsen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Weaver had five each.

Evgeni Malkin
The Penguins scored five on Saturday night and Malkin had a hand in four of them, only failing to collect a point on Pittsburgh's eventual game winner.

1 Goal, 3 Assists, 4 Points, +3, 1 Shot, 16:28 TOI
Florida has two days off once again before getting back to action on Tuesday night when they host the Ottawa Senators. This will be the second time the teams meet this season with Ottawa holding on for a 3-2 victory over Florida up in Ottawa on Nov. 9. Ottawa currently has 24 points (10-12-4) in 26 games, good enough for sixth in the Atlantic Division. They'll play on Sunday against Detroit before flying down to South Florida. Offensively, they're led by defenseman Erik Karlsson (26 points in 26 games) and forward Bobby Ryan (25 points in 26 games). Craig Anderson (6-8-2) and Robin Lehner (4-4-2) have split time in goal with Lehner holding better stats with a 2.38 GAA and .937 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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