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Panthers Lose 4-2 to Thrashers: Losing Ways, Scoring Woes Continue

BY GEORGE RICHARDS

ATLANTA – When the Thrashers picked up their second goal just 3:43 into Tuesday night's game, it looked like the Panthers had not only picked up where they left off but had actually regressed.

The Panthers quickly turned things around with a pair of goals from Stephen Weiss and David Booth but couldn't overcome Atlanta's two-goal outburst in the second and dropped their seventh straight with a 4-2 loss at Philips Arena.

Florida, with an uncertain roster going into Wednesday's 3 p.m. trading deadline, didn't curl up and die despite Atlanta's quick 2-0 lead. But Florida's scoring woes continue to haunt as the team continued its franchise record mark for scoring futility as Tuesday marked the 14th straight game Florida was held to two goals or less.

“I don't know what to say really,'' said Booth. “It's frustrating. The guys want to win in here. It's tough losing these games. You look back throughout the year and so many of these slipped away. Other teams have that drive to win, know how to win. We have to get to that. Down, tied or up, we have to win these games.''

Depending on what general manager Randy Sexton can pull off before the deadline, the Panthers could look much different come Wednesday when the Flyers visit Sunrise.

If the white flag hasn't been raised on the 2009-10 season, it's creeping up the pole. The Panthers have now lost eight of nine and their playoff hopes continue to dim.

Florida limped into the 17 day Olympic break and looked rusty in the early goings Tuesday. The Thrashers, who beat Florida 4-2 in their final home game before the break on Feb. 6, scored two goals off the first three shots goalie Scott Clemmensen faced. The first came just seconds after Michael Frolik had a great opportunity stolen away by Johan Hedberg.

The Panthers got on the board just over two minutes after Colby Armstrong made it 2-0 when Weiss scored on a power play – just Florida's fifth goal in 53 such chances.


With 9:15 remaining in the period, Booth snared his third goal of the season after charging in on Hedberg and blasting a shot off a Bryan McCabe feed.

Florida had ample opportunity to pick up its third goal of the opening period but failed to do so and it was costly. Late in the period, Booth drew a hooking penalty on Ron Hainsey with 1:56 left. Hainsey joined teammate Marty Reasoner in the bin, giving the Panthers a two-man advantage for a whopping 1:32.

Only the Panthers were able to sustain little in the Atlanta zone and came away with nothing.

“That's a huge momentum shift,'' coach Pete DeBoer said. “We came back from 2-0 and got the power play and could have come out of the first with the lead. We didn't. That's the game.''

After Hainsey's penalty ended early in the period, Florida continued to come hard at Hedberg and the Thrashers – with Atlanta committing its fifth penalty of the game early in the second. But Florida once again failed to convert, allowing Atlanta to retake the lead 7:33 into the second with Cory Stillman serving a delay of game call.

Florida went 1-of-8 on the power play and failed to score with two extra skaters in the final 90 minutes as Clemmensen came out of the net.

The Thrashers scored their fourth goal of the night with 5:13 left in the second when Pavel Kubina knocked a puck past Clemmensen to make it 4-2. Clemmensen, making his first start since Dec. 27, stopped 35 of the 39 shots faced in relief of starter Tomas Vokoun.

“Two goals isn't going to do it,'' DeBoer said. “We need to learn how to bury some of our chances.''


Comments

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Plain and Simple. There is not enough talent on this team. I hope that Sexton does not wilt to the pressure, this offense is terrible.

If Vokoun stays, please trade Clemmenson to the Flyers or Islanders. It would be a good dump of salary, and Panthers can pick up a goalie on waivers.

Going for the lottery pick. Taylor Hall is still a possibility. If Panthers aren't going to make the playoffs better to come in last and get a top pick. The only way to get some talent is trade for some more top picks.

Keep Weiss, Horton, Frolik, Booth, Dvorak and maybe Matthias and trade the rest of the forwards.

This is a mess at least when gm Brian Burke says he makes stuff happens he does! he brings in phaneuf and kessel and giggy! sexton has had some of the same words or statements and all hes done is get rid of players he just brought in this year??? like leo and domi like come on you need to get rid or players like kreps olesz campbell matthias stillman mcabe guys that play more golf then hockey in florida and collect a pay check! you think the players actually care about the situation in Florida Hellll no ! there guys on that team that have never been to the playoffs before, guys that are first round picks like horton weiss guys that have had huge expectations to be superstars like kovalchuck nashes and such! no they collect there pay checks go to there fancy homes and could care less! i would not be talking like this usually but its been 9 years now how many times can a team rebuild and how long does it take guys that have never seen the post season to want to get there ??? this is getting bad for Florida fans as everyone can see the spread of negative feedback ! how hard is it to make a good trade ? must be pretty hard i guess ? floridas trades in the last 5 years have been the worst quoted in history of hockey!!! seen players like luongo boumeester for nothing lol haha its a joke get some players in Florida that want to play hockey and put fans in the stands look what phoenix did people and the mentality they put in there heads after all that has happen last year !! i guess the sun and the money is to easy in the mind to care about becoming winners !

it is bad enough that we go into every game where the other team has more talent than we have, but we also have 75% of the players being outworked by the other team.

Case in point we have a 6 on 4 and Stillman's stick is busted, I don't know if he was held up, arguing with the ref or what but instead of hustling to the bench to get another stick he takes his time.

Why is it that we have players that don't outwork their opponent.

It starts with scouting. We don't budget for scouts to actually go and see players instead we watch video.

It is similar to watching a horse race, the horse continues to win the race but then when you buy the horse and then later you find out that the competition was not as tough and you have a horse that can't win.

No talent and no effort equals Florida Panther hockey.

no shots on a 1:30 5 on 3, why because the other team works harder and wants it more.

Clean house now, get rid of Yormark, Sexton and the scouts and bring in hockey people that want to produce a winner and not people that treat the hockey product as something to fill 40 dates at the arena.

Maybe it is time for a new coach? Look what it did for Phoenix. They are a lunch pail team and are doing pretty well now that they got rid of Gretzky. Our power play is pathetic, that is typically the coaches telling them how to play it.

to add to STHSDO, the defenseman no longer carry the puck into the offensive zone but dump it and go directly to the bench. It is going to take some major changes to change character like that. Where was the fight last night?

This team sucks...whatever. Not like this is news to anyone who follows the sad saga of this team.

What I really want to know is this: What happened to Alice Faircloth, the 74 year old usher that Yormark fired for admonishing him because of his foul language back in 2007.

That SHOULD have been a PR nightmare and instead got swept under the rug...

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