The Florida Panthers gave the playoff bound Pittsburgh Penguins a tough fight on Saturday night. But Jordan Staal’s three assists proved to be too much, and the Penguins pulled out a 4-2 victory, in Sunrise.
In just the second minute of the hockey game, the Panthers missed an opportunity on one end of the ice, leading the Penguins to a three-on-two the other way. Staal found Tyler Kennedy in the high slot, and Kennedy beat Scott Clemmensen with a wrist shot over the glove.
However, the Panthers came storming back with two quick goals just 22 seconds apart. Marty Reasoner hit Jack Skille with a brilliant saucer pass, which Skille was able to knock down and put passed Brent Johnson. Clay Wilson then gave Florida its only lead, as he skated down the left wing and beat Johnson’s glove hand.
Pittsburgh tied the game early in the second period, at the 45 second mark. Max Talbot sent a pass across the front of the Panthers’ net to Pascal Dupuis, who had an easy tap in, into the open net.
The winning goal came at 12:49 of the third period on a delayed penalty call. Zbynek Michalek skated in from the right point to the top of the face off circle and blasted a shot through Clemmensen’s stick side. Craig Adams hit an empty netter with 90 seconds left to seal the deal.
The Panthers have lost eight games in a row. They will resume play on Wednesday, in Washington against the Capitals.