Florida Panthers Post-Game Recap: Game # 62 vs. the Anaheim Ducks:
The Panthers would play the second night of a back-to-back, and the last game of the west coast portion of their current road trip. Sergei Bobrovsky was still not feeling 100%, so Spencer Knight would be making his 4th consecutive start for the Cats despite playing last night against the Golden Knights. The Ducks would start John Gibson in net.
Disaster would strike early for the Panthers, but not on the scoreboard. Less than two minutes into the game, Norris Trophy Candidate Aaron Ekblad would fall awkwardly during a collision with Anaheim’s Cam Fowler and Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, injuring his right leg in the process. Ekblad was unable to put any pressure on that leg, and would have to be assisted down the tunnel to the dressing rooms for evaluation. Ekblad would not return to the game, and the severity of the injury has yet to be announced. The game must go on however, and it would open up with a Power Play goal by Jonathan Huberdeau at 13:54 of the first period. It would be Huberdeau’s 20th of the season, and he became the sixth Panther’s player this season to hit the 20-goal mark. Huberdeau would not stop there, as he would score a second goal with less than ten seconds to go in the period for his 21st of the season. Florida would head into the first intermission ahead 2–0.
The second period was more domination by the Panthers. By the end of the period Florida would be leading Anaheim in shots 34–12, and there would still be another period to play. Florida would extend the lead early on in the second period, as Joe Thornton would score his fifth of the season at 3:44 to pull Florida ahead 3–0. Spencer Knight would not face a ton of shots up to this point, but he has been called upon to make some timely saves during this game. Knight has looked very good so far despite playing a hard game last night. The Panthers have played a far better team game up to this point despite some chippy-ness from both sides. Florida would head down the tunnel for the second intermission with the 3–0 lead.
Florida would pretty much coast for the final 20 minutes of the game. Anaheim was taking penalties from being undisciplined, and trying to goad Florida into fights. Florida would end up dominating Anaheim in the Shots category, ending the game leading Anaheim 42–17 in shots on goal. Spencer Knight would hold his own for the entire game, turning away all 17 shots he faced for his first career shutout. Congratulations to Knight for the first of (hopefully) many shutouts in his career. Florida takes this contest with a final score of 3–0, and finally will return to South Florida for a good amount of time off.
Next game for Florida will take place next Thursday, March 24th in Montreal in a bout against the Canadiens. It will be the debut of newly acquired Panther Ben Chiarot, the former Canadien. That game will begin at 7:00pm ET.
- 1–0 (FLA) Jonathan Huberdeau (20)(PPG) at 13:54, assisted by Sam Reinhart (37) and Anthony Duclair (23)
- 2–0 (FLA) Jonathan Huberdeau (21) at 19:53, assisted by Aleksander Barkov (36) and Mason Marchment (22)
- 3–0 (FLA) Joe Thornton (5) at 3:44, assisted by Noel Acciari (3) and Carter Verhaeghe (27)
- No scoring