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Potvin's Blog: Panthers 2 | Canadiens 1 (Shootout)

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Hall of Famer Denis Potvin, a four-time Stanley Cup winner and three-time Norris Trophy winner, has been the Panthers’ television analyst since the team’s inaugural season.

Potvin shares with his views tonight as the Panthers play at Montreal.
Make sure to refresh your browser every couple minutes to get the latest updates from the Bell Centre.

Transcript begins:
7:30 p.m.
Good evening, Panther fans.
Tonight, the key is speed. We can do a lot of damage to this team with speed. The Panthers have to follow-up on the checks, too. They’re not a big team.

First Period
:20  Michael Ryder got hurt on the first shift. He went to the locker room.
1:00  Good follow through on a check by David Booth.

1:13  Mike Van Ryn gets called for holding on (Alex) Kovalev
2:45  Ryder is back on the ice.
2:52  Montreal goal by Kovalev. It’s a power play tally. The Panthers were playing the box much too tight. It left to much room around the perimeter. Kovalev was able to come behind the (defense) and was able to put the rebound (of a Roman Hamrlik) shot in the net. Panthers 0 - Canadiens 1

5:10  Nice play by (Radek) Dvorak to come back on a 3-on-1 to take the pass away from (Saku) Koivu.

7:43  (Mikhail) Grabovski is spinning around and shooting and they love it.
9:01 We’re really not very sharp right now. They’re moving the puck real quickly and we’re behind a little bit right now. They can’t skate with us, but they can equalize the speed by moving the puck quickly and they’ve done that well so far.

9:28  Penalty Panthers. Zednik holding the stick.

11:32  Since the Panthers got breakaway opportunity by Zednik it seems like it got their spirits up. They’re skating better. More aggressively. Vokoun makes another big save, this time on Christopher Higgins.
11:47  Nice hip check by Salei on Koivu.

12:38  Panthers are a little out of sync. But it’s only a 1-0 game. That’s the good thing.

13:36  We seem to be giving it away by dumping it in and not having anyone on the puck. They’re playing a better puck possession game. They have good possession in our zone for a while. That hasn’t happened with us. That’s the difference right now – better puck possession and a power play goal.

15:04: The good thing is we haven’t let them in front of our net. They’ve been around the perimeter of the net but we haven’t allowed them in front of the net.

19:25  Salei for tripping.

End of First Period.
The Panthers have to be happy being down only one goal because they were outplayed considerably in the first period. This isn’t unlike some of the games we had at the beginning of the year when we outplayed the opponent and were only up a goal. So they the Panthers are in good shape going into the second.

Second Period
3:34  We killed off the penalty. First Panther power play. Could be the break the Panthers are looking for. This could be a momentum changer.

5:30  We’re not giving each other an outlet for passes. We’re not thinking. We’re reacting. We’re not anticipating anything. We’re forcing plays. We have to let the game come to us. And now we have another penalty. Five on three for four seconds. Four of our six power play goals have come on five on threes.

6:11: Zednik gets called for slashing. That’s a really weak penalty.
6:40: Big rebound save by Vokoun. Biggest one tonight.

9:00  Patrice Brisebois better buy dinner for Cristobal Huet because he just made a huge glove save on a breakaway on Zednik.
9:39  Vokoun looks very smooth. He looks like he did the other night. Bouwmeester just came back to make the save. There was an empty net there for Brisebois.

12:49  Montreal is getting better quality chances than they did in the first. The shots are now 25-10.

15:20: Great hit by Bryan Allen on the offensive blue line on Tom Kostopoulos. Contact is picking up quite a bit. It’s getting exciting.

16:53  Noah Welch is fighting Kostopoulos, who took a run at Jokinen earlier. He does well. A good indication of a young defenseman knowing you don’t let anyone take a run at your captain. Nice clean fight.
17:50  Nice save Huet. He’s only been called on a few times tonight but he’s had good concentration.

19:24  Nice barrage by the Panthers late in the second. End of second. Better period for the Panthers. They did kill off penalty beginning of period. Then you had the Zednik breakaway. Seemed to generate excitement for the Panthers. Then got little more physical and Panthers responded with big hit by Allen and fight by Noah Welch. Score hasn’t changed.

End Second Period
1:17  Key save by Vokoun on Higgins.

2:00  Jacques changed his line. He’s got David Booth with Brett McLean and Gregory Campbell. Anthony Stewart is off the line.

4:30  Horton is playing with Jokinen and Zednik, who’s moved to left wing. Jacques is trying to load up on the offense it looks like. We’re not getting scoring chances.

5:50  Andrei Markov blocks a Horton shot, but Horton at the end of the shift takes a slashing penalty.

6:33  Vokoun makes a save and covers up. He doesn’t just make the save, but puts a stoppage to play and gives a chance for his team  to make a change. Very smart.

8:47  Noah Welch isn’t on the bench and didn’t come out for the third period.

10:00  We haven’t had any real scoring chances. They’ve shut us down. We’ve had no chances off the rush. We haven’t really tested Huet except for the breakaway by Zednik.

11:31 Stewart, Weiss and Booth on the ice. Solid shift.

13:38  Good scenerio right now is Montreal to go into a shell. It rarely works if you go into a shell with a 1-0 lead. Could be advantage for the Panthers.
14:39  Well, just found out Montreal is still attacking.

14:51  Montreal playing a classic trip – 1, 2, 2. They’re not going to chase our guys.

17:59  Komisarek gets a slashing penalty on Zednik. This is it for the Panthers. You’re getting your break. Bouwmeester comes down from the point. Nice set up. I think Huet makes the save. Very impressive.

19:49  Vokoun out. 6 on 4. Murphy finds Horton on the far side. What a play by Murphy. Patient. Waited. And so was Horton. Pass came and everyone was committed, including Huet. Not a power play goal. :10.2 seconds remaining in the game. They say good teams hang around. The Panthers hung around for 57 minutes. Now they’re in overtime.

The Panthers are getting the power plays they were victim to last season. And when they’re on the power play they have a sense they can make it happen because Murphy is such a superb addition. Murphy’s sixth point. All on power plays.

Two chances by Zednik. Would he love to score having played here for several years.

Glove save by Vokoun on Higgins. Higgins is going to be shaking his head tonight because he’s been stopped three times tonight by Vokoun.

Jokinen trippped in front of the referee, who wouldn’t make the call. Jokinen going to ref and appealing why call wasn’t made when he was all alone in front of the net.
Shootout time.
Montreal first time shootout this year, as well as the Panthers. Montreal elects to shoot first.
Montreal: Higgins, who’s ben robbed by Vokoun all night, is stopped as he ties to go on the backhand. Left pad save Vokoun.
Panthers: Peltonen. Likes to go top shelf, but didn’t get it up.
Montreal: Koivu likes to go five hole, but it wasn’t there. Vokoun closes it off. Looks like feable effort.
Panthers: Horton. Tries five hole. Not there.
Montreal: Kovalev maybe one of the most dangerous in the league. Vokoun stretches out the right leg and stops him Doesn’t give him a sniff.

Panthers; Stumpel on the backhand. Stick side. Goal Panthers win it. Half the bench congratulates Stumpel. The other half, rightly so, congratulates Vokoun. 37 shots faced. 36 saved.
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