“That pretty much sums it up,'' coach Pete DeBoer said grimly.
The Panthers put up just 13 shots in Friday's 2-1 loss to Calgary at BankAtlantic Center – including a grand total of six in the final 40 minutes. The Panthers came into the third trailing by a goal and didn't take a shot for the first seven minutes of the period and ended up with just two during the point of a game where desperation was warranted.
Afterward, DeBoer said “we just got manhandled.'' When asked how to change that, he was succinct and candid.
With just one goal on Friday against the travel weary Flames (they flew in from Calgary on Thursday), the Panthers have scored 10 goals in the past nine games.
“You would think when you have some forwards who haven't scored in 14, 15, 16 games, they might want to get their noses dirty to try and get one,'' said DeBoer.
“We weren't interested in that tonight. .-.-. We have lines of guys who haven't scored in 15 games. It's tough. The only way to fix that is through free agency in the summer.''
What's DeBoer talking about?
The Panthers scored just one goal in two games this week and have 10 in their past nine games.
Consider this: The top line of Stephen Weiss and Michael Frolik (David Booth is scoreless in his first three games back from injury) have combined for just one goal in the past 10 games.
And it's not just Weiss and Frolik.
In the past 10 games, Radek Dvorak, Dominic Moore, Steven Reinprecht, Kamil Kreps and Frolik have zero goals. Cory Stillman has three in that span, rookie Shawn Matthias two (both against Montreal in 2-1 win).
With those kind of numbers, DeBoer was expecting a little more effort on Friday. The Panthers took just 13 shots on Friday – two in the final period.
Despite the lack of shots on the score sheet, the Panthers actually created enough scoring chances that, if converted, that probably would have been good enough to win.
Ah, if only.
Florida players misfired on a number of scoring chances during the game and was outshot by 27. Of the two goals Vokoun gave up, one came off the skate of teammate Jordan Leopold.
“We were completely out played,'' said Leopold, who spent the end of last season with the Flames. “Vokoun kept us in their once again. We didn't show up to compete. We have another game [Saturday]. Those points are important too.''
Calgary, which had come to Sunrise with wins in just three of the past 15 games, never trailed in Friday's game as the Flames held leads of 1-0 and 2-1.
Florida tied the score in the second when Dennis Seidenberg whipped a shot from the right circle on a power play chance – on one of just 11 shots taken by the Panthers in the first 40 minutes.
The Panthers missed two open nets (Rostislav Olesz and Radek Dvorak) and had two prime chances with players in front (Shawn Matthias and Kamil Kreps) not able to get a handle on the puck. Michael Frolik also snapped one off the goal post early in the third.
In the second, just before Calgary scored what would be the game-winning goal, Stephen Weiss and Dvorak got loose on a short handed chance. Weiss slid a pretty cross-ice pass to Dvorak and with goalie Miikka Kiprusoff out of position, the Panthers had a great chance to take the lead. Only Dvorak couldn't connect.
A minute later, Mark Giordano did, taking a long shot from 35 feet out. The puck found a way over Vokoun's shoulder and the Flames were back in front.
“We just spent too much time in our zone and when we got it across, we didn't have enough energy to get anything done,'' said Weiss. “We spent all our energy in our own zone. That's a game, looking at their travel and us being off all week, should be in the bank. We didn't get it done. It's disappointing. We have so many different intentions before the game and see it end like that, it's frustrating. We'll regroup and have a better effort [Saturday].''
Calgary took a 1-0 lead late in the first as former Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester – lustily booed every time he touched the puck – fired a puck toward the net on a power play chance. Bouwmeester's shot found the recently acquired Ales Kotalik and his shot bounced off of Leopold's skate and past Vokoun with 9.4 seconds left in the period.
Bouwmeester was hit in the back by a large rubber rat as the game ended and he was skating toward his bench. He didn't seem to notice it.
-- Word from Kevin O. in Rochester is that Keaton Ellerby is expected to be recalled by the Panthers for tomorrow's game in the 'ATL.' Bet here is that they are giving Bryan Allen's knee the night off.