March 9, 2011
SUNRISE - The Florida Panthers hadn't won a game since February 25. The Chicago Blackhawks hadn't lost a game since February 20. That all changed when the Panthers beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Tuesday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. Florida played with a purpose, scoring all three of their goals in the opening frame. Florida attempted to put the game into cruise control, but that allowed Chicago to get back into the game as they scored two unanswered in the second. But the Panthers prevailed to get the win.
Just a few minutes later, at 9:44, Sergei Samsonov came skating into the zone on the left side, instead of shooting, he passed it to his linemate Niclas Bergfors at center. Bergfors shot the puck right into a defender and it ended up on the stick of Clay Wilson. Wilson then got his best shot off. It floated past two defenders and the goalie, Crawford, who appeared to be screened or just lost sight of the slowly hit puck, ending up in the back of the net. It was Wilson's 2nd career goal and 1st of the season
But in the locker room, somebody forgot to remind the Panthers there were 40 minutes left in the game. Midway through the second period, the Blackhawks finally got on the board. Brian Campbell took the puck in along the right wing boards. He gave a cross-ice feed to Brian Campbell. Campbell circled the net and passed it to a crashing Kane who, with the flick of a wrist, scored a goal. Campbell and Ryan Johnson assisted Kane's 22nd goal at the 11:03 mark.
Then the goalies stepped in. Not to discredit Marty Turco, who stepped in for Crawford, but the Panthers shut down offensively and after only 8 shots on target in the first period, combined for just 7 in the final two frames. Tomas Vokoun, on the other hand, was phenomenal in net. He stopped 37 of 39 shots, including 14 in the critical third period.
THREE STARS: 3) Patrick Kane (1 goal) 2) David Booth (1 goal, 1 assist) 1) Tomas Vokoun (W, 37 saves)