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game recap

Panthers Lose Tough One To Atlanta

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:09 AM

Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers head coach Jacques Martin, top center, looks on with his team after the Atlanta Thrashers' Bobby Holik (not shown), of the Czech Republic, scored a goal during the final minute of the third period Thursday, March 27, 2008, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

They’ll remember this game.

They’ll remember the ringing post, their inability to score during 13 minutes of power play time, and, yes, the third-period goal that wasn’t declared a goal.

In the end, the Panthers’ 3-2 loss Thursday to Atlanta here at BankAtlantic Center seemed in some ways to sum up this season. Despite lots of chances, the Panthers couldn’t come away with a win and went home seven points from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining in the 2007-08 season.

“Disappointing,” said David Booth.

“Too many power plays and we didn’t score,” said Nathan Horton.

Sitting in front of his locker, with pads and skates still on, goalie Tomas Vokoun ran his left hand over the top of his head and said, “This basically puts us out of chances.”

After starting the month by winning 17 of a possible 18 points to jump back into the playoff hunt, the Panthers have lost their last two games to the 14th and 15th place teams in the East.

And they’ll remember this one, especially the goal that wasn’t called.

At 10:19 of the third period with the game tied at one, a scrum developed in front of Thrasher goalie Kari Lehtonen. With Brett McLean jamming at a loose puck and defenseman Bryan Little and Lehtonen trying to stop him, the puck leaked through Lehtonen’s pads, crossed the goal line, and then pin-balled back between Lehtonen’s pads.

GM and coach Jacques Martin said he asked the referees (Steve Kozari and Marc Joannette) to go to video replay (judge Mike Williams), but they refused. “They missed it,” said Martin of the puck that on video replay clearly crossed the goal line.

Game Highlights
Starting Lineups
 Panthers    Thrashers
 Jokinen
C
 Slater
 Olesz
LW
 Perrin
 McLean
RW
 Armstrong
 Johansson
D
 Havelid
 Cullimore
D
 Enstrom
 Vokoun
G
 Lehtonen
Post-Game Video
 Jacques Martin
 Olli Jokinen
 Jay Bouwmeester
  Radek Dvorak
 Tomas Vokoun
PhotoGallery
 Panthers vs Thrashers
Quote of the Game
“It’s tough, no question. This is a game of goals, and we weren’t able to produce.”
-Goaltender
Tomas Vokoun
Stat of the Game
The Panthers penalty kill units were strong once again, killing off all four Thrasher oportunities, giving them 16 straight power plays without a goal given up.
3 Stars
Presented by Szrio Jewelry
1. Bobby Holik
2. Kari Lehtonen
3. Nathan Horton
Incredibly, despite the fact play was stopped so a trainer could attend to Lehtonen, the video was either never reviewed or the goal was totally missed.

It was one of the turning points in the game because 2:28 later, Mark Recchi scored to give the Thrashers a 2-1 lead. Holik would score into an empty net to put an end to the Panthers chances despite a Radek Dvorak goal with three seconds left.

“It’s tough, no question,” said Vokoun, who stopped 25 shots. “This is a game of goals, and we weren’t able to produce.”

But the Panthers had plenty of chances to wrestle this game away from the Thrashers. They failed to convert on four power plays in just the first period. And at 2:20 of the third period with the score tied at one, Nathan Horton was looking at a wide open net after getting a cross-ice pass from Olli Jokinen. But Horton bounced the puck off the left post.

“We had a lot of chances, but we couldn’t capitalize,” Booth said.

And they paid the price. For instance, after failing to convert on those four power play chances in the first period, Bobby Holik scored with 7.2 seconds remaining in the period to give the Thrashers a 1-0 lead.

Horton tied the game at 9:46 of the second period when he lifted a backhander over Lehtonen after getting set up nicely by Booth. But the Panthers couldn’t seem to catch a break the rest of the night. Martin tried to shake things up by changing lines, playing Jokinen at one point with Jozef Stumpel and Dvorak. But Jokinen seemed snake bit, getting stopped seven times by Lehtonen and being on the ice for all three Thrasher goals.

“The bottom line is your best players got to be the best, and I haven’t done my job the last couple games,” Jokinen said.

The Panthers must now regroup and prepare for their final home game of the season Saturday against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals before ending the season with three games next week on the road.

“Nothing changes,” Vokoun said. “You still get paid to the last day of the season. You still do the same thing you’ve been doing in practice and you still prepare the same way for games.”

The last one this year at BankAtlantic being Saturday.
scoring summary
1st Period
19:52
ATL
Bobby Holik (13) Tip-in - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (34), Chris Thorburn (10)
1 - 0 ATL
2nd Period
09:46
FLA
Nathan Horton (26) Backhand shot - ASST: David Booth (17), Brett McLean (21)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
13:47
ATL
Mark Recchi (13) Tip-in - ASST: Bryan Little (10)
2 - 1 ATL
19:01
ATL
EN - Bobby Holik (14) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
3 - 1 ATL
19:57
FLA
Radek Dvorak (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Kamil Kreps (17), Gregory Campbell (12)
3 - 2 ATL
penalty summary
1st Period
02:37
ATL
Eric Boulton  Interference against  Kamil Kreps
09:09
ATL
Steve McCarthy  Hooking against  Rostislav Olesz
13:23
ATL
Eric Boulton  Too many men/ice - bench
15:56
ATL
Boris Valabik  Slashing against  Brett McLean
2nd Period
10:10
FLA
Nathan Horton  Roughing against  Boris Valabik
10:10
ATL
Boris Valabik  Roughing against  Nathan Horton
10:10
FLA
Nathan Horton  Roughing against  Boris Valabik
13:36
FLA
Jassen Cullimore  Holding against  Tobias Enstrom
16:44
FLA
Magnus Johansson  Hi-sticking against  Bryan Little
19:44
ATL
Tobias Enstrom  Holding the stick against  Stephen Weiss
3rd Period
00:45
ATL
Jim Slater  Slashing against  Olli Jokinen
03:41
FLA
Karlis Skrastins  Tripping against  Ilya Kovalchuk
07:30
ATL
Bryan Little  Hooking against  Kamil Kreps
goalie stats
Kari Lehtonen
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 45TOI: 59:51
Saves: 43EV: 30 - 32
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 12
SV%: .956SH: 1 - 1
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 27TOI: 59:45
Saves: 25EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .926SH: 0 - 0
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