Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wild Breeze By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers fell to the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center. The Panthers were playing the first game of a three-game road swing for the club.
     It was midway through the first period when Minnesota(16-8-4) got up 1-0. Jason Pominville entered the Panthers zone on the left side and centered the puck to Zach Parise. He snapped a shot from the left circle by Roberto Luongo at 11:19.
     The Wild extended their lead at 4:11 of the second period. Erik Haula was able to score from the slot area for a two-goal margin.
     Florida(13-13-4) gave up another tally midway into the frame at 9:46. Pominville sent a long lead pass to Eric Staal at center ice. He skated on a breakaway, lifted a shot which was saved and batted the puck in mid-air on the rebound for his seventh goal this season.
     In the third period, the Panthers were down 4-0 at 6:04. Mikael Granlund passed the puck from the right point to Jason Zucker in the low right circle. He fed a cross-ice pass to Mikko Koivu who put in a one-time shot from the left side of the crease.
     The Wild attack continued as they scored again at 8:26 to make it 5-0. Zucker raced into the Panthers zone, through the left circle and placed in a backhand shot. Luongo was replaced in net by James Reimer after the goal.
     The Panthers finally broke the shutout with 4:24 left in the third. Dylan McIlrath scored his first goal with Florida from the right point on a wrist shot. Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith were credited with assists on the play.

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