The Florida Panthers have been a little cold lately.
Florida came into their game against the New York Islanders on a six-period scoreless streak, having endured back to back 3-0 losses.
Just prior to the game, fans received alarming news. Winger David Booth is now a Canuck. No doubt the Panthers were shocked, too. How did the team react?
Florida gave up a power play goal early, but evened the score later in the period.
After two periods the score was knotted up at two, but the Panthers led in shots 24-10.
Soon after the third period started, Jose Theodore was pulled for Jacob Markstrom. The kid turned away every shot, Tim Kennedy scored his first of the year, and Shawn Matthias potted an empty netter to seal the deal.
How did everyone fare? Let's go over it one player at a time.
Bradley was really cooking on the ice last night.
He looked swift even before scoring his first goal of the year and was an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick.
In 13 minutes of ice time, Bradley scored one goal on four shots, earned a five-minute fighting penalty, collected two hits, logged a plus-two and lost his only face off.
In every game this season, Campbell has spent the most time on the ice of any Florida player and his 26 minutes last night were no exception.
Campbell did not figure into the scoring, but on at least two occasions made some deft passes in the offensive zone that easily could have been converted into Florida goals.
On the night, Campbell had one shot on goal, one blocked shot, and one hit. He finished with a plus-one.
In nine minutes of ice time, Carter won two of his three faceoffs, made one shot on goal, collected one hit and finished with a plus-one.
What you should expect from a fourth line center is a tough skater who makes minimal mistakes, checks the heck out of the other team, and chips in an occasional point. On this front, Carter had a pretty good night.
Flash looked good last night, as his passing was crisp and he intercepted a few of the Islanders' passes.
He came up empty on scoring with three shots on goal, but did make one assist and finished with a plus-two in 19 minutes of ice time.
Garrison led the Panthers with five shots on goal tonight, and finished with a decent enough plus-one. He also blocked one shot.
Midway through the first, Garrison out-hustled two Islanders behind his own net, clearing the puck out of a tight spot.
Goc showed a lot of puck control last night. Late in the first, he took a hard shot off the shoulder and had to get looked at. In the last four minutes of the game, Goc intercepted a key Islanders pass, helping kill the penalty.
Just two minutes later, Goc cleared the puck while on the short side of a five-on-three power play, maybe saving the game.
Goc won eight of his 20 faceoffs, made one shot on goal, blocked one shot and finished with a plus-one in 15 minutes of ice time.
In 11 minutes, Gudbranson dished out two hits and made one shot on goal.
He came out playing hard immediately, crashing the boards in the first minute of action. He showed a lot of toughness last night, skating through and around guys to get to the puck.
In 16 minutes, the only statistic logged by Jovanovski was one hit.
He let the puck jump over his stick early on while the Panthers were on the power play, letting it escape the zone and effectively killing their own power play. He had very little impact outside of that.
Kearns had one hit while winning one of two faceoffs for the Panthers in eight minutes of ice time.
He was aggressive skating after the puck and helped neutralize an early threat in the third by picking off a cross-ice feed and clearing it out of the Cats' zone.
Kearns is doing pretty well for himself, but the Panthers lost one forward and gained two in the trade. Kearns is very likely the odd man out.
Kennedy showed speed, hustle and heart last night.
He was behind the net, going for the puck and he made crisp, precise passes in each of the three zones. He was skating all over the place.
Lastly, he was moving through the right spot at the right moment for the Cats, netting the game winner early in the third.
In 15 minutes, he scored one goal on three shots. He won five of 13 faceoffs, dished out one hit and finished with a plus-one. Kennedy may stick in Florida.
In 17 minutes of ice time, Kopecky missed two shots and lost his only faceoff, but that does not tell the whole story of Kopecky vs. the Islanders.
He missed his penalty shot in the first by trying to go five hole when he should have gone high glove side. They say hindsight is 20/20, and based on his latest performance, we should probably give him a pass.
He made nice passes, showed good puck control, faked a couple of guys out of their skates in the second period, and twice cleared the puck during that crucial late third period penalty kill.
Kulikov logged 21 minutes of time on ice against the Islanders. He earned an assist on the game winner by Kennedy.
He also collected one hit, made three shots on goal, blocked three by the Islanders, and was just everywhere on the ice, especially during the second period. Historically, he's taken a few games to warm up. Lets hope what we are seeing here is Kulikov catching fire.
Kulikov finished the evening with a plus-two rating.
Markstrom earned the first star of the game against the Islanders, despite only playing 20 minutes.
He looked remarkable turning aside all 18 shots by New York in the third. In a combined 5:17 of penalty kill time (including 43 seconds of five-on-three) Markstrom completely stonewalled the Islanders.
Markstrom made a statement tonight that he is ready to play at the NHL level. We are looking at the guy who could stay between the pipes for a long time for Florida.
Matthias again showed a lot of speed in this game. In the first, he almost had a great assist when he sped up the ice and made a nifty pass to Garrison, who almost scored on a powerful slapshot. Unfortunately, Islander goalie Evgeni Nabakov also had a pretty good night.
In the second, Matthias made a really good assist from the right goal line to Bradley. His assist in the third was also of the nifty variety, as he found Kennedy passing in front of the goal with a perfect pass from behind the net.
He later skated out of the penalty box at precisely the right moment to take the puck and stuff it home for an empty netter late in the third, his only shot of the game. He also won one of two faceoffs, collected one hit and finished with a team best plus-three.
Skille again looked good on the ice. He showed a lot of heart in the Islanders zone in the first, and for a second there I thought he was going to drop his gloves and get in a fight.
As always, he was making great passes and outskating his opponents. It's surprising to me that he has yet to collect a goal this season. He was on the ice for 10 minutes, and the only stat that he collected was of the penalty variety for tripping the Islanders' Andrew MacDonald.
Theodore only faced 10 shots in the first two periods, allowing two power-play goals in a combined 44 seconds on the penalty kill.
He also let a puck through at even strength, although it very narrowly missed the net.
The Panthers offense came up strong to keep the Cats in the game.
Theodore was pulled in favor of Markstrom in the third period.
Upshall had a bad turnover and missed a wide-open net in the first period.
In 13 minutes on ice, Upshall had two shots on goal, dished out two hits, and had an unfortunate hooking penalty that led to the Islanders' first power play goal of the night.
However, he was in position to make a lot of good plays. His contributions should eventually be reflected on the score sheet.
In 18 minutes on ice, Versteeg had one goal on four shots, two penalty minutes, won one of two faceoffs and finished with a plus-one on the evening.
His goal occured midway through the first to pull the Cats even with the Islanders. He was in good position on a feed from Weiss and was blocked on the initial shot but shoved home the rebound for the score.
He showed off nice puck control and some other good moves on the night. He was guilty of one bad pass early in the third that led to a breakaway chance for Julian Tavares which Markstrom easily turned aside. Later still he incurred a holding penalty that resulted in a late power play for the Islanders.
In 21 minutes on ice, Weaver twice assisted and finished with a game best plus-three. He also blocked a shot and gave out one hit.
He played equally well across all three periods. Nice passing, good poke checks, and great puck clearing on the penalty kill marked his night.
Weaver is the most consistent blue liner night in and night out. You can always count on him to "bring a lunch box."
Weiss' 22 minutes on ice far and away led Panther forwards. He finished the night at plus-one with a first period assist on the Versteeg goal. He had two shots on goal, led the team with three hits and won 11 of 21 faceoffs.
Weiss at times had a tendency to hold onto the puck a little too long, but showed good pursuit of the puck, mercilessly buzzing the Islanders defensemen in their own zone.
He almost had a goal in the second (pictured) but a save by Nabokov foiled his plan.