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Sound Familiar?: Florida Panthers Big 3 Struggling ... Booth, Weiss, Frolik Have 4 Goals in 11 Games ... Allen Working Out

Heat ANAHEIM – The Panthers got goals from a variety of different sources in their 4-3 shootout win against Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Radek Dvorak scored the first one on a penalty shot, then defenseman Dmitry Kulikov got his first of the season before Shawn Matthias scored his first in nine games.

Stephen Weiss won the game with a shootout goal. Technically, that goal doesn't count in the statistics. But it's better than nothing, and Weiss and two other players Weissislanders the Panthers desperately need to get going offensively hope it was a swing in the right direction.

“We just have to play hard and do what you're doing,'' said Weiss, who has just two goals in his past 11 games. “I have to try and play looser and not think about it. We have to score for us to be competitive. We have a tough time scoring as a team. We just have to keep after it.''

The Panthers have struggled to score again this season, with their 56 goals tied for 24th in the league with Minnesota. A big reason Florida hasn't scored much of late is the lack of production from three players the team is counting on to put pucks in the net.

Booth3 David Booth, who led the team with 31 goals two seasons ago, hasn't scored in 11 straight games. Like Weiss, Michael Frolik has two goals that same time frame. In almost an act of desperation, coach Pete DeBoer put the three together on a line for the first time in weeks on Saturday. Later in the game, he switched them up again.

When the Panthers visit the Ducks on Wednesday, Weiss and Frolik will start off playing alongside Matthias.

“We have to get scoring from those guys,'' DeBoer said. “We have to add to the depth scoring with some front line scoring. I know David Booth is as frustrated as anyone. Same with Weiss and Frolik. The bottom line is they have to produce. And I think they will. When they do, we're going to be a tough team to beat.''

As he always does, Booth spend a long time after practice shooting pucks at the net. From the left side,  from the right, from in front. During his 2008-09 season, Booth went 11 games without a goal. He then scored four in his next five.

“I'm just shooting at hard as I can right now. I'm not even aiming anymore,'' said Booth, who got his first career hat trick the last time Florida visited Anaheim's Honda Center on Nov. 9, 2008. “I just have to keep positive. But it's a lot easier to say. This is tough. You keep messing with things, second guessing. At the end of the day, you have to be happy your here and glad to have this opportunity. Then things will come.''

- Frolik - Frolik leads the Panthers with 13 points (four goals, nine assists). Coming into Tuesday's games, that ranks him tied for 121st among NHL scoring leaders. Booth is next on the team with 12 points (T-141) and Weiss has 10 points (T-194).


Bryan Allen has missed three games with a broken bone in his foot, but he skated for a short time on Tuesday and was working out in regular shoes and not the walking boot he's been forced to wear.

Allen is expected to be out at least another week, although he grinned when asked if he would play during this trip. Allen added that he did have trouble skating because of the pain, but will try and skate again on Wednesday morning.


DeBoer brought the Panthers out to the west coast a few days early to help get acclimated to the time change. The team got in two quick-paced and spirited practices before Wednesday's game.

“The proof is in how we show up and play [Wednesday], that's the ultimate test,'' DeBoer said. “But I think it was a good plan. We had to shake something up. We've come out here and not traditionally started well on these trips. It was time to try something new.''

-- Practice was stopped momentarily when Bryan McCabe scored during a power play drill. Florida's league-worst power play is in a 0-for-37 slump although the team is beginning to laugh at their own misery.

When/Where: 10 p.m.; Honda Center, Anaheim
TV/Radio: FSNF; 560-WQAM
The series: Panthers lead 10-8-3
The game: The Panthers have been playing much better on the road of late, winning three of their past four after winning just two of their first five away from Sunrise. Florida won the previous meeting against the Ducks in Anaheim, and has won four straight on road ice against Pacific Division teams. .-.-. Anaheim has won two straight including a 2-0 win against the rival Kings on Monday night.