The Florida Panthers had only been shut out twice after playing 29 games in the 2023-24 campaign. In fact, in a span from October 14, 2021, to December 29, 2022, the Panthers set their mark on the NHL leaderboard, having scored a goal in 118 consecutive games.
Before the West Coast journey, the team had a three-game home stand, where they scored ten combined goals.
However, a pit stop in Columbus, Ohio, saw a dramatic, physical game against the Blue Jackets. It was marked by a big hit between forward Nick Cousins and former Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson. It resulted in Gudbranson's suspension. Florida came out victorious by a 5-2 margin.
The bigger story of the road trip so far has been the lack of goal scoring for the Cats.
Florida’s season has had many bright spots despite a season-opening shutout on October 12th in Minnesota and a lackluster zero-goal game against Winnipeg on November 24th.
When the Panthers took the ice at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, they came out firing. They led 9-3 in shots after the first period, having several odd-man rushes and good scoring opportunities. But after the initial frame, the effort didn’t seem to be there.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves on the night but 27-year-old Joey Daccord recorded his first career shutout as the Kraken blanked the Panthers 4-0.
Paul Maurice’s squad hopped on a flight across the border in which they looked to bounce back against the Vancouver Canucks. However, similar issues arose. Thatcher Demko made 36 saves on the night and the Panthers were shut out yet again.
The Florida Panthers need to get their scoring back on track soon
Power Play Production:
The Panthers spotted their offensive woes with some chances on a man-advantage. However, they went a combined 0-6 in the shutout streak against Seattle and Vancouver.
This has been a continuous trend as Florida sits in 20th place in the National Hockey League in Power Play Percentage with 17.6%.
Quality over Quantity:
The Panthers average the third-highest “Shots Per Game Played” in the NHL with 33.7. They just need to be better at creating second and third chances so they get quality scoring chances. They know it too:
Getting the Stars Involved:
Most of the goal production has come from the top line in Barkov (10), Reinhart (17), and Rodrigues (6), as well as Carter Verhaeghe (13). However, highly touted forwards Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, and Anton Lundell have only combined for 10 of the team’s 85 total goals.
At this point, they have not scored a goal in 121 minutes. Paul Maurice needs his “old reliable” to get in on the scoring as the Panthers look to stay toward the top of the Atlantic division.
The Cats take on the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames to cap off this road trip as they look to put this abysmal trend to a halt.