Dec 23rd – Panthers vs Tampa Bay
The Florida Panthers opened the week by visiting their cross-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning. This game right from the beginning got away from the Panthers. The Lightning got up 1-0 before Victor Hedman fired a cannon of a shot by Sergei Bobrovsky. Things only got worse for the Panthers on this night as the onslaught never ended. Jonathan Huberdeau got the Panthers on the board with a PP goal to start the 2nd. It made little difference for the Panthers as the Lightning scored 3 unanswered from there. Bobrovsky picked up the loss, giving up 6 goals on 34 shots. This may not have been the best of nights, but the Christmas break offered much-needed rest.
Dec 28th – Panthers vs Detroit
The Panthers had 5 days off following the Christmas break, and the rust showed. With the last place Detroit Red Wings in town, the Panthers had their hands full. In the first meeting in Florida this year, Bobrovsky picked up a shutout in an easy victory. This time around the Red Wings had Chris Driedger, and got out to a 3-1 early. This night belonged to the Panthers though, as they scored 4 unanswered, capped off by Anton Starlman’s GWG in the third. Detroit scored late, but Driedger made 35 saves in picking up the win.
Dec 29th – Panthers vs Montreal
Back at it again on Sunday evening, the Panthers had a full barn as Montreal and their rabid fans invaded the BB&T Center. The Panthers got off to a fast start on goals by Noel Acciari and Alex Barkov to go up 2-0. Montreal, not to be outdone, responded with 3 of their own, capped by a Max Domi snipe to go back up 3-2. Huberdeau took over from here, picking up an assist before potting 2 himself. The 6-3 lead was enough, but Montreal scored 2 late goals on Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky made 38 saves on 43 shots, still not where he needs to be.
This Week in the Florida Panthers: Dec 30- Jan 6. 2020
The Panthers open the week by hitting the road on Tuesday to play against the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will almost certainly see the net against his old team in this one. They will get a travel day before playing in Ottawa on Thursday. This is followed by a tough weekend road back-to-back with Buffalo on Saturday, and Pittsburgh on Sunday. This will be a tough week with 4 straight games away from home. Road trips like these will be a good test of where to Panthers stand heading into the new year.
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