The Florida Panthers didn't get the 'roll over, you stink' memo last night. The Cats handed the Pittsburgh Penguins their first loss of the season to the tune of 6-3. Pens rookie netminder Jeff Zatkoff looked every bit as inexperienced as a rookie can look and the team's usual crispness was left at the airport. Passes were lazy, the hustle wasn't there (except the fourth line. Glass, Adams, and Vitale looked great), and the defensive effort was offensive. Downing a bottle of vinegar would've left a better taste in one's mouth than this loss to Florida.
Craig Adams, who busted his lip scoring his third goal of the season, said, "There were a lot of chances both ways, that’s not how we want to play. We want to play with sustained shifts in the offensive zone.”
The other Penguins goals came off the sticks of Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis, their firsts of the year. Assists came way of Bennett, Glass, Vitale, and Crosby. The Panthers stars put up impressive numbers as Kris Versteeg had a goal and assist, Brad Boyes netted a pair, rookie Alex Barkov had two assist with his goal, and Tomas Fleischmann lead the way with four points (a goal and three assists). Goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced.
Jeff Zatkoff had a rough night. After Boyes wristed one over his shoulder early in the first, the rookie seemed rattled. Not that the team helped very much, but stil. When the Panthers scored twice in a 1:06 minute span (both powerplay goals) the game was over.
Zatkoff knows it. "It was good to get in, but not the way I planned for it to go. I need to make a few more saves in critical times in the game. I wasn’t able to do that. That was the difference. I have to be better.”
The Penguins finish their quickie roadtrip today against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:00pm.
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