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Florida Panthers Angry After 3-1 Loss to Toronto

TORONTO – Scott Clemmensen made his first start of the season on Tuesday, and had he not collided with Toronto's Colton Orr during the third period, he might have come away with a win or at least a point.

Instead, Orr knocked Clemmensen to the ground before the puck slid by giving the host Maple Leafs a lead they would later extend as Toronto ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Panthers 3-1 at Air Canada Center.

Clemmensen argued with the officials to no avail; he said he was told that because he was out of the crease, he wasn't interfered with.

The Panthers saw things just a touch differently.

“It's obvious I don't know what goalie interference is,'' coach Pete DeBoer said. “I don't know what hitting from behind is, I don't know what interference is. I need to call the league and get myself a tutorial on what those penalties are because, if those aren't hits from behind in the first period on Kulikov and then goalie interference in the third period, then I obviously don't understand the description of the rules. I don't make that call.''

Said captain Bryan McCabe: “We all saw it was interference. Refs make mistakes once in a while and they missed the call. Obviously it's a game changer. It was a 1-1 game, probably going to overtime. They missed a call, blatant interference. Clemmer had no chance to stop that puck. What are you going to do.''

Toronto held a 1-0 lead after scoring on a Tyler Bozak goal late in the first period, but tied it up when defenseman Dennis Wideman fired a long shot from the top of the slot on a power play to beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere with 5:03 left in the second to tie things up.

Florida seemed to be getting the better of the Leafs in the third, putting a lot of pressure on Giguere, but with 8:58 left, the Leafs were able to keep the puck deep in the Florida zone and get the lead back. Fredrik Sjostrom dug the puck out off the back boards and sent it back to Tim Brent in the slot. His long shot hit Orr's skate as he and Clemmensen were tangled up, the puck going into the empty net.

“I don't believe it was a legitimate goal and I'm not going to sit here and embarrass anyone, but it should have been disallowed,'' said Clemmensen, who made 24 saves. “He tackles me to the ground then the puck goes into the open net. The replay clearly shows that. It changes the outlook of the game with eight minutes to play. Now we have to press and they end up scoring the third. It was a momentum changer. It's one thing to lose. It's another to lose like that.''

The Leafs made it 3-1 with 2:24 left when Phil Kessel picked off a loose puck at center ice as Wideman and the rest of the Panthers were pinching in deep. The Panthers argued that Cory Stillman was interfered with by Giguere, but, again, no call. Kessel got in front of Wideman, drove in on Clemmensen and shot high, beating the Florida goalie top shelf. And that was that.

“It is frustrating in a close game like that, but I've never been one to blame the refs,'' David Booth said. “Maybe there's something we could have done to prevent it. .-.-. Refs miss calls all the time. It's just unfortunate they missed that one.''


Stephen Weiss had to visit a dentist before the team left South Florida on Monday after he had one of his front teeth knocked out after being struck by a puck during the team's win against the Islanders on Saturday.

Weiss is knocked some of his other teeth loose and had to have them repaired temporarily. On Tuesday, Weiss was wearing a small, clear plastic cage on his helmet that resembled a quarterback's face mask. He wasn't sure if he was going to wear the cage for the entire game but he did.

“I don't want something small like a face-wash to knock the loose ones out,'' said Weiss. “I think they can save them. I have to go back Monday and be in the chair for a few more hours. I can eat, not a huge steak or anything, but I can get by.''

-- With defenseman Jason Garrison back from a groin injury, Keaton Ellerby was sent back to the minors after playing in two games. Shawn Matthias (foot) was back at practice on Monday, but he was scratched on Tuesday.

“He needs to play instead of sitting in the stands here,'' DeBoer said regarding Ellerby. “He looks like a full time NHL player. He will be soon. You need depth at defense. This is short term. He'll be back here sooner than later.''


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Good to see you conveniently left out the miss calls on the Panthers for hauling down Mikhail Grabovski and denying him scoring chances with no calls. And some pretty dirty play trying to run over Giguere after that 2nd Leafs goal (which should have been disallowed) - whoever got dropped by Jiggy deserved it.

Well, hey. It's Toronto. I remember the ref once handing Belfour back his stick during play (when he was the Leafs' goalie). A little lean is to be expected. It's just something the Panthers are going to have ot learn to overcome.

We got jacked for the second time this year in Canada! How much might those 4 points be worth at the end of the year!!

wont matter bob even our panthers are better than the lowly leafs, the chicago cu s of hockey....

Uh, the refs were playing for the toronto maple leafs last night. Not the "NHL" in Toronto. The league should issue an apology for such a blatant miss call, and not even reviewing the tape. Unbelievable.

Apparently, even the refs are trying to ensure that the Panthers lose this year.

Despite all the craziness in the third, it does not excuse the Panthers peformance in the second and third period. The top and second line forwards need to start scoring or it will be a LONG LONG season.

Why do they call it hockey season if we can't shoot the refs?

More proof Barry Melrose is an idiot. He gave Orr one of his stars of the night. http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/1248/four-stars-of-the-night-4

The league should apologize not only to the Panthers but also the fans.

just a few games into the season and the Panthers are whining in mid-season form. These guys never get outplayed or outclassed. It's always the refs fault or injuries or something else.
It's the same story. Spend some money for an nhl roster or suffer the consequences.

So Stevie loses his front tooth and has to wear a full cage with a shield?

Duncan Keith loses 7 on one shot, comes back 5 minutes later and plays the rest of the game and continued to lead his team in ice time throughout the remainder of the playoffs.

Either you're tough enough or you aren't. Not about to feel sorry for Weiss, and while this was a regular season game and Keith's happened in the Stanley Cup playoffs, this can't be an excuse for Weiss to play poorly.

How can you be worried about a small face wash when you never get close enough to anyone to give you one.

I disagree its not about the money. The problem as always has been the first and second line. We have no first line. Also, if they want to bench anyone, it should be Higgins and Frolik. No goals, no play.

how come the team and the golie don't talk about the third goal? Its not like they lost by one goal stop the crying

Hmmm, no mention of the interference on Giguere for the panthers goal? He was pulled out of position in his crease by the Panther player's skate (can't recall who). The Orr 'goal' should have been called back no question, but calls were missed on both sides.

Leafs got shafted a few nights back on a disallowed goal that cost them the game (or at least a point) as well. It happens.

Krebs, look again. You simply can't put an equals sign between the two events.

Giggy wasn't "pulled out of position" at all. In fact he was getting back into position outside the top of the crease when he touched skates with Stillman. The impact was incidental, outside the crease, and was as much Giggy's fault as Stillman's. It was a good non-call.

Of course, we could talk about the slash on Armstrong, the boarding of Kulikov, etc. all day. It would be interesting to see the league hand out fines on that slash or boarding but not mention Orr.

even the leaf announcers said that the panther goal was not interference and they said the leaf goal was, and then he said we have to remember this when a call goes against us.

I also agree that only losers complain about the refs. we did not take advantage of our chances; this team has to take advantage of its chances or we are in the position as last night.

The Christmas travel plans of thousands of are in disarray after snow left Heathrow Airport all but shut. Thousands have been forced to sleep overnight in airports and there is disruption to road and rail travel with the Met Office warning of more snow ...

Hockey is a really dangerous sport. I don't get why my brothers are so into it. Well, they said they want to be good. They've been watching hockey games since we were kids in Sarasota. I did tell them that the sport can make you say hello to the implant dentist, just like the Stephen Weiss guy you've mentioned. Anyway, I'll show this blog to them, and maybe they'll read a lot of your articles. Kudos, and more power, Miami Herald!

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