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Florida Panthers Get Power Play Goals, Still Drown on Pond: Ducks 5, Cats 3

PICT0035 DUCKS 5, PANTHERS 3

BY GEORGE RICHARDS
grichards@MiamiHerald.com

ANAHEIM – The Panthers power play was obviously missing Steve Bernier.

The Panthers forward, who had been out since having facial surgery on Nov. 6, scored two power play goals to break Florida's drought in that department, but it was not enough as the Ducks won 5-3 at Honda Center.

Bernier, who got hit in the face by a stick-wielding Brent Burns in the moments following Florida's game against Minnesota on Nov. 5, ended with three points.

“It was my first game back and I felt good on the ice,'' said Bernier, who came into the game with just one goal this season. “That said, we needed to win that game. We didn't play for 60 minutes. That's why we lost.''

Florida trailed 3-0 but started its comeback when Mike Santorelli scored in the second. Bernier then scored Florida's first power play goal since Nov. 10 as Stephen Weiss' shot deflected off him and past Jonas Hiller to make it 3-2.

Less than a minute later, Tomas Vokoun gave up a goal to Corey Perry. Florida never rebounded from that one despite getting another Bernier goal late in the game after Vokoun left the net giving the Panthers a 6-on-4 advantage.

“That was huge,'' Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said of Perry's goal.

The Ducks closed out the Panthers with an empty net goal from Bobby Ryan in the final moments.

The Panthers have now lost four of their past five. Anaheim is now in a three-way tie with Phoenix and Dallas for the lead in a tight Pacific Division. Those three lead Los Angeles and San Jose by just three points.

Florida trailed 3-0 in the second period after the Ducks got two goals from bruiser George Parros (season total before Wednesday: 1) and one from captain Ryan Getzlaf. Parros and Getzlaf scored within a minute of each other to make it 3-0 as the Panthers defense gave up the puck twice deep in their zone.

“We didn't handle their forecheck pressure at all, we were soft all night with the puck and without it,'' coach Pete DeBoer said. “When their big guys were playing, it was men with boys. We didn't have the response physically and weren't firm and direct with the puck. That led to a lot of problems.''

The Panthers then showed a little grit by coming back, Santorelli pulling them within one after knocking in a puck near the net just over a minute after Parros' got his second of the night.

With just 14.6 seconds left in the second, the Panthers got their first power play chance of the night. They didn't score before the break, but did so 1:20 into the third when Weiss put up a shot that skipped off Bernier and past Jonas Hiller.

Before that, the Panthers hadn't put up a power play goal since Nov. 10 against Toronto – a 36-chance scoreless streak that had not only become a joke around the league but had Florida players and coaches laughing at the absurdity of it at practice. 

“It hit me in the leg,'' Bernier said. “Hopefully that takes a little of the pressure off the power play guys, maybe we're a little more confident. There's always a positive in a game and that was a positive. Your job in the front of the net is to screen the goalie. Sometimes the puck goes off you, sometimes not.''

If the Panthers were going to come back, this was their chance. It was not to be as Perry one-timed a shot from the slot and beat Tomas Vokoun to give the Ducks their two-goal cushion back.

The Panthers visit Los Angeles Thursday night at 10:30 EST.

Comments

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clearly this team lacks finishers. yes the powerplay scored the garbage goal.

While not picking on Steve Weiss because I like the effort he gives every time he is on the ice; he is not a finisher and never has been.

Last night was the perfect example, he gets the perfect pass right on his stick with an open net, a finisher one times it into the net, a non finisher has to get control of the puck allowing the goalie to get back into position and then he is too close to the goal and tries the perfect shot and misses the net.

The coaches can keep talking about chances that are created but you have to have the players that have the ability to take advantage of those chances and the panthers do not have this type of player.

The word is beginning to creep in again that the panthers are a "soft team".

So we don't hit, don't score no wonder why we are among the bottom four.

I would add that Mr. Nathan Horton was the Panthers setup guy, without him, the Weiss, Booth, and Frolik numbers will suffer and continue to. The Panthers were unable to find a suitable replacement for Horton hence the horrible offense since the start of the the season. What is also glaring is since according to Deboer, he can rotate lines, shouldn't he break up Frolik and Weiss? How about putting Santorelli with Weiss?

Is that Repik needs to be replaced with McArdle. The Panthers need more physical play from their forwards.

The other problem is for this season that Tallon and the ownership will not surrender any draft picks right now to pick up a physical forward and a scorer. Nor is there a market right now since every team needs scoring with all of the shutouts in the NHL today. Example, Tim Thomas has 5 shutouts already! So basically, the Panthers are stuck with what they have with their NHL and AHL roster, until teams start getting desperate and are looking journeyman.

The picture is starting to become clearer of no playoffs again.

Denis Potvin on NHL Extra Point said yesterday that the Panthers are nearing the point where there are just too many points to make up to get to the playoffs without putting together a six game winning streak.

Do you know if they might wear red jersey's on throw back night? That would be a smart marketing and overall move.

They are not...I asked the equipment guys the last time they had a "throwback" night and they had heard nothing of it...just another marketing thing is all...

Ummmm...though he may not say it Tallon doesnt want to make the playoffs this year, in fact I would bet he is hoping for a competitive team up to right before the deadline, when he WILL unload McCabe/Stillman/Reinprecht and Vokoun for picks/prospects.

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