Sharks 3, Panthers 0

Florida Panthers offense listless in 3-0 loss to Sharks

 

The Panthers continued to search for their scoring punch and lost to an inspired Sharks team. ‘We weren’t happy that they came and took it to us,’ goalie Tim Thomas said.

 
Goaltender Tim Thomas #34 of the Florida Panthers stops a shot by Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks at the BB&T Center on January 16, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida.
Goaltender Tim Thomas #34 of the Florida Panthers stops a shot by Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks at the BB&T Center on January 16, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida.
Joel Auerbach / Getty Images

grichards@MiamiHerald.com

Aside from a four-goal outburst Tuesday, the Panthers haven’t scored much lately.

It cost them again Thursday.

San Jose got rolling on a breakaway goal from Joe Thornton late in the second period en route to a 3-0 win at BB&T Center.

Despite giving up a few goals Thursday, few can blame goalie Tim Thomas as he has kept the Panthers in every game lately despite almost no goal support.

Thomas stopped the first 27 shots he faced before Thornton scored. San Jose’s next two goals came after Thomas made the initial stop and the Sharks pounced on the rebound.

Florida has scored one goal or fewer in five of the past seven games. Thomas has salvaged four points from three of those games.

“We weren’t happy that they came and took it to us,’’ Thomas said, “that they were the team ready to play and we weren’t. ... We were at home. They flew thousands of miles, and it didn’t look like it. They looked like the fresh home team, and we couldn’t get anything going.’’

The Sharks, coming off a shootout win in Washington on Tuesday, had plenty of jump as they brought the house in the opening period.

San Jose had 21 shots on goal in the first yet couldn’t get anything past Thomas as he rejected one shot after another.

The Sharks, who outshot Florida 21-8 in the first 20 minutes, didn’t get their first goal until Thornton picked up a loose puck in front of Mike Weaver in the neutral zone and took off.

Thornton charged in on Thomas, going top shelf on San Jose’s 28th shot of the game.

“We have to bury our chances and our opportunities,’’ Scottie Upshall said.

Florida had shots but not many real scoring chances against rookie goalie Alex Stalock. One terrific chance came in the third when Tomas Fleischmann fed Upshall in front of the net. Stalock, who made 24 saves, made a terrific stop as he would record his first NHL shutout.

Moments after Upshall was stopped, San Jose charged up the ice and took a 2-0 lead.

Thomas made a nice stop on a shot from Tyler Kennedy yet was still sprawled on the ice when Matt Nieto followed up and pumped a shot into the vacant net at 4:44 of the period.

Midway through the period, Thomas made a kick save on Brent Burns that Joe Pavelski jumped all over.

“They certainly outplayed us,’’ coach Peter Horachek said.

“We weren’t ready to play, and I’m not very happy with that.’’

Youth hockey

Some of the Panthers’ youngest players all scored during Florida’s 4-2 win over the visiting Islanders on Tuesday night.

In the opening period, rookie Aleksander Barkov, Drew Shore and Nick Bjugstad staked the Panthers to a 3-0 lead.

“You’re looking at the long-term situation,’’ Horachek said.

“The future is one thing and now is another thing so as long as they continue to contribute right now where they are — and they are — we’re OK.’’

• Florida’s league-worst power play continues to shoot blanks.

The Panthers went 0 for 3 on Thursday and have gone scoreless on their past 27 tries.

The Panthers haven’t scored a power-play goal since Dec. 27 against the Red Wings.

• The Panthers will hold an open practice Friday at the Coral Springs Iceplex at 11 a.m. before flying to Raleigh, N.C., to kick off a three-game trip.

Read more Florida Panthers stories from the Miami Herald

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