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FIVE STRAIGHT AIN'T GREAT: Panthers Continue Losing Ways, Lose 3-0 to Maple Leafs

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Kevin Dineen said there were "plenty of negatives you can keep pointing at" before Monday's game against the Maple Leafs.

The list of negatives just continues to grow -- as does the Panthers losing streak.

Florida went winless on a four-game homestand that concluded with a 3-0 loss to a Maple Leafs team that felt right at home inside the BB&T Center. The Panthers haven't won in five straight games and went 0-1-3 at home during that stretch.

The Panthers play the next two on the road: Thursday at Philadelphia (site of Florida's most recent victory on Feb. 7) and Friday in Pittsburgh.

"It's frustrating times and we have to find ways to be more consistent,'' defenseman Brian Campbell said. "It stings a lot. We wanted to come into [homestand] and make it to .500 and we're not there. We have a lot of work to do going on the road. To have a fairly good road trip, then come home for this, it hurts.''

The Panthers failed to pick up a point for the first time since a 5-0 pasting at Washington to start this slide on Feb. 9.

During the five-game winless streak the Panthers have:

-- Been outscored 21-10 and shutout three times. Florida's four shutouts this season lead the league;

-- Tied an NHL record for losing three straight games in overtime, becoming only the second (Nashville) to do it all on home ice;

-- Became the first NHL team this season to lose two games when scoring five goals. St. Louis is the only other team to have 'accomplished' that feat.

Florida is a broken bunch right now.

"We better figure it out and there's a confidence factor right now,'' said Dineen, whose team had won five straight against Toronto. "I played that record last game. There's lots of things we need to work on.''

The Panthers didn't do much to slow down a Toronto team that is on a hot streak good enough to pull back attention from the Miami Blue Jays.

The Leafs, who have won six of seven, got another strong outing from backup Ben Schrivens as he has shutouts in his past two starts and hasn't given up a goal in his past 142:21.

Florida's Jose Theodore once again found his goals-against average going up and his save percentage going down as his defense has been anything but stout.

Toronto scored its initial goal when Phil Kessel walked in by himself off a give-and-go from Mike Van Riemsdyk and scored short-side from the left circle with 2:56 left.

Although Theodore should have made that save, the Leafs were off to the races after Van Riemsdyk stole a Mike Weaver turnover in the Florida zone.

"Give him credit, he's standing on his head,'' said Peter Mueller of Theodore, who made 30 saves for the second straight game.

The Leafs got two more in the second to cement this win as Nazem Kadri camped out in front of the net during a power play and rifled a shot past Theodore at 12:13.

Just over a minute later, Clarke MacArthur got loose as Kadri pulled in three Florida defenders before slipping the puck across ice. MacArthur charged in on Theodore unopposed to make it 3-0.

The Panthers, who went the final 9:55 of the second without offering up a single shot on goal, took 12 shots in the third yet rarely threatened the Leafs' goalie.

SANTORELLI RETURNS

General manager Dale Tallon said the Panthers had a few banged up players who were questionable for Monday's game so center Mike Santorelli was recalled as a precaution.

Santorelli, 27, has two goals and three assists for Florida's AHL affiliate in San Antonio since being demoted last month. Santorelli was not needed and although he warmed up, did not play.

"I think his attitude has been great and he's playing very well,'' Tallon said.

-- Winger Kris Versteeg didn't skate again Monday and missed his third straight game since suffering an undisclosed upper body injury last week against the Capitals. Tallon said Versteeg's injury wasn't concussion related and he's simply day-to-day.

-- Scottie Upshall skated before Monday's workout but Dineen said he was "still a ways away." Upshall injured an ankle after falling awkwardly during a fight Jan. 31 against Winnipeg.

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