Friday, March 10, 2017

Wild Overcome Panthers

     The Florida Panthers finished a three-game homestand with a 7-4 defeat to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers have lost seven of their last eight games overall and seven of their last eight contests in Sunrise.
     Minnesota(43-17-6), who entered the game with the best record in the Western Conference, waited until 7:50 into the first period to take the lead 1-0. Jonas Brodin fired a slapshot from the top of the zone and it was redirected in by Jason Zucker from the slot area past James Reimer.
     Florida(29-26-11) would get a tally during their first power play and tie it 1-1 at the 14:22 mark. Keith Yandle put a pass from the blue line to Jonathan Marchessault at the top left circle. He released a shot which was saved by Darcy Kuemper, however Marchessault raced forward and poked in the rebound from the top of the crease for his 20th goal of the season.
     The Panthers took their first lead with 1:49 left in the frame. Vincent Trocheck backhanded a pass from the right point to the middle. Mark Pysyk skated toward the high slot and scored on a high wrist shot for his third goal of the campaign.
     In the second period, the Wild climbed back to make it 2-2 at 8:07. Eric Staal poke-checked the puck down the right-wing wall to Nino Niederreiter. He returned it back to Staal who snapped in a shot for his 20th tally of the year.
     Minnesota put up a series of three close-range shots from the edge of the crease on Reimer. The first two by Zach Parise and Martin Hanzal were stopped, but the third one was lifted in by Jason Pominville at 10:08.
      The Cats responded quickly and tied it 3-3 just 61 seconds later. Trocheck moved the puck to Jaromir Jagr in the low left circle. He carried it around the Wild cage and shot it from the low right circle. It was the 15th tally for Jagr and his 762nd NHL goal.
     Devan Dubnyk replaced Kuemper in goal for the Wild to begin the third period. He had a tough time when he was unable to handle the puck behind the net after a dump in by Pysyk. It bounced out to Aleksander Barkov in the low slot and he put it into the open net at 2:57.
     Minnesota came back at the 5:24 mark to make it 4-4. Marco Scandella backhanded a shot from the right circle which was saved and Staal scored on the rebound from the crease for his second tally of the contest.
     The Wild would go ahead 5-4 with 5:07 remaining in the third. Jared Spurgeon made a cross-ice pass from the right point to Brodin on the left point. His shot went through traffic and landed in the blue paint. Parise stepped up and scored on a short shot. Granlund added an empty-net goal with 1:10 to go and Charlie Coyle scored one with 2.5 seconds left to make it a three-goal margin.

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