Late scoring surge by Panthers falls short

09/19/2013 12:01 AM

03/16/2014 9:49 PM

After sputtering for the majority of the game, the Panthers’ offense quickly sparked into action in the third quarter, tallying two goals in 14 seconds to tie the score at two.

The extra frame wasn’t enough to decide the game, which ultimately went to Dallas 3-2 by way of a shootout.

The Panthers managed just 12 shots through two periods against the tandem of Dallas goaltenders starter Kari Lehtonen and Christopher Nilstorp. The second period saw just four Panther shots fall on target.

However, center Drew Shore ignited the Panther spark, scoring 16 minutes into the third period. Shore saw both sides of emotion in the game as he drew the penalty that led to the Stars’ first goal.

“Certainly anytime you’re in the box and they score it isn’t a good feeling,” Shore said. “We battled back and that’s important because it shows we have a lot of character in that room and I think that, especially in the preseason, that’s something that’s very important.”

Florida tied the score 14 seconds later when right wing Scottie Upshall placed the puck in the top of Dallas’ net with a Star defender draped on him. Upshall’s goal in the slot was set up by a pass from center Jessie Winchester.

Before the late-game rally, Florida managed only two real scoring opportunities in the game.

One of the Panthers two prime scoring chances came late in the first period on a close-range shot by Upshall spinning around from behind the net.

The goal attempt buried itself into the Star logo on Lehtonen’s chest with 1:09 left in the first frame.

Center Quinton Howden gave Florida its next best chance halfway through the third, squeezing through two Dallas defenders to create a short break away. His quick wrister was knocked away by the blocker of Nilstorp.

After registering just six shots in the first period, Dallas drew first blood late in the second on a quick shot from the slot by center Cody Eakin.

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar developed the play by coasting the blue line and feeding winger Ray Whitney in the Stars’ offensive corner. Whitney whipped a pass into the middle of the ice to Eakin who buried the goal on a power play for hooking by center Drew Shore.

The Stars added their second of the night just 30 seconds later, on a wrister off the stick of left wing Jamie Benn over the glove of Panther goalie Jacob Markstrom. The score was set up by new Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin and winger Alex Chiasson.

Both Florida shooters, right wing Brad Boyes and center and second-round draft pick Aleksander Barkov failed to beat Stars’ goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp in the shootout, while both Star shooters, Alex Chiasson and Jamie Benn found twine.

Despite allowing two goals, Markstrom had an excellent game, capped off by killing a 4-on-3 Dallas powerplay in overtime.

Markstrom faced 30 shots on the night.

“I thought he was awesome,” Shore said. “Especially in the 4-on-3 at the end of the game, I thought he was phenomenal. He gave us a chance to win the game.”

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