Endgame: Panthers 3, Penguins 2
Saturday, 11.19.2011 / 10:18 PM ET / Features
By Sam Kasan
Post-Game: Jordan Staal
Post-Game: Joe Vitale
Pens-Panthers In-Game Blog
Everything you need to know about the Pens' 3-2 setback to Florida:
One bright spot was goaltender Brent Johnson, who made 28 saves in the contest. his biggest was a split save on Kris Versteeg off a cross-crease pass.
"Johnny in the third made the big save on the backdoor play," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "He played really well tonight. He was a guy deserving of getting the win with the way he played. He made some big saves for us."
Pens center Jordan Staal continued his scoring surge with a goal against the Florida Panthers. Staal found a loose puck in the crease and waited as panic-ed goaltender Jose Theodore flopped in the crease. Then he lifted the puck into the net to tie the game at 2-2.
"I was just trying to get a good handle on it," Staal said. "I missed it the first time and got a piece of it the next time and it sneaked through."
"(Staal) has been playing well for us," Joe Vitale said. "We are riding on his back right now. Every night he gives it his all, an honest effort and he's getting rewarded for it."
Staal now has a four-game scoring streak (4G-2A). In his last 13 games dating back to Oct. 15 vs. Buffalo, Staal has nine goals and 12 points and is off to the best offensive start in his career.
"Jordan was a guy leading the way right from the shift he scored the goal on," Bylsma said. "A lot of his play in the game, he was our best performer tonight. At the halfway point of the game he took the team on his back."
Chris Kunitz made a great heads up play that led to him scoring the game’s first goal. There was a faceoff in the neutral zone. The Panthers won the draw, but Kunitz attacked the puck and intercepted a Panthers’ pass.
Kunitz gained the blue line, dished the puck to Pascal Dupuis and then skated straight to the net. Dupuis sent a shot on goal. Kunitz found the rebound in the pads of goalie Jose Theodore and flipped it into the net.
The Pens concluded the 6th annual Dads’ Trip with their 3-2 setback to Florida.
In the first game of the Dads’ Trip, the Pens dropped a 4-1 decision to Tampa Bay at St. Pete Times Forum. It’s only the second time since general manager Ray Shero initiated the Dads’ Trip in 2006 that the club went winless.
"It was a good trip," Vitale said. "Hopefully, we'll go back home and get back on the winning track."
The Pens are 7-5 all-time in Dads’ Trip games.
Author: Sam Kasan