The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins made their only visit to Sunrise this season and pounded the Florida Panthers 5-1 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers were coming off a six-game road trip. It was the home debut of interim head coach Tom Rowe.
Pittsburgh(17-7-3) was able to bash through the Panthers in the first five minutes of the contest with a two-goal lead. Sidney Crosby snapped in a shot from the slot area at 3:06 for his 18th goal of the season.
The Pens came back during a 4-on-4 situation on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Crosby made a cross-ice pass to Conor Sheary to the left side of the crease and his shot went wide left. It bounced off the back boards and toward the goal crease where Roberto Luongo backed the puck into his own cage at 4:51.
Florida(12-12-4) surrendered another goal and fell behind by three goals at 7:34. Scott Wilson fired a slapshot which went off traffic in the low slot. Tom Kuhnhackl got to the loose puck and scored his second goal of the campaign.
In the second period, the Panthers scored on their second power-play opportunity at 6:17. Aleksander Barkov raced into the Penguins zone into the right circle and faked a forehand shot. He dropped a backhand pass into the slot and Jaromir Jagr followed with a one-time slot past Matthew Murray. It was the sixth goal of the season and the 755th NHL goal for Jagr.
Matt Cullen burned his former team with a tally at 5:48 of the third period for a 4-1 margin. Justin Schultz fired a slapshot from the right point which Lunogo saved. Wilson retrieved it in the left corner and found Matt Cullen alone in the low slot for a snap shot. Carl Hagelin added an empty-net goal with 32.9 seconds remaining.