Panthers Tie Late, Lose in Shootout

Despite coming back from a one goal deficit in each period, and getting a spectacular goal by David Booth in the shootout, the Florida Panthers dropped a 4-3 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tuesday night.

Booth’s spin-o-rama goal gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the shootout, but Scott Clemmensen couldn’t stop Tyler Bozak or Colby Armstrong, and the Maple Leafs escaped with the victory.

Florida was sloppy early on, surrendering a goal to Toronto forward Kris Versteeg just over seven minutes in. Versteeg banked in a bad angle shot off Clemmensen’s back, after the Florida goaltender got caught looking the wrong way.

The Panthers tied the game on a Stephen Weiss tally late in the first period. Florida took advantage of a big save from Clemmensen, and Chris Higgins led a three-on-one the other way, before dishing a pass across to Weiss who beat Toronto goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere stick side. However, the Leafs went back on top 23 seconds later, when Nikolai Kulemin wristed a shot past Clemmensen from the face off circle.

A rare power play goal for Florida got things tied up again, when Booth slammed home his 15th goal of the season. The play resulted from a great pass by Keaton Ellerby towards the net, which Michael Frolik directed towards Booth, who backhanded it in.

Right on cue, the Leafs took the lead again 82 seconds later, as Mikhail Grabovski redirected a Tomas Kaberle blast with his shin pads, past a surprised Clemmensen.

Florida managed to tie things up one last time in regulation, when Cory Stillman deflected a wide Dmitry Kulikov point shot over Giguere. This was the Panthers second power play goal of the game, and came from an unnecessary elbowing penalty by Toronto forward Phil Kessel.

The Panthers resume play tomorrow night, in Montreal, against the Canadiens.

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