Craig Anderson started for the Cats but unlike Friday, the Rangers couldn't get off to as strong a start and the Panthers were able to take advantage and set their own pace. At times, the action was end-to-end, but nothing came of the chances for either side in the first period.
Ville Peltonen had a break in the second and as he cut across to Henrik Lundqvist's glove side, he threw the puck blocker side and Lundqvist knocked it down, but later in the period, Peltonen would get another chance and as Marc Staal fell down trying to turn around, Ville had a clean and uncontested break. This time, he simply threw a wrister past Lundqvist to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
A little over six minutes later, Stephen Weiss went down to block a shot that caught him in the leg. Trying to play through the stinger, Weiss hobbled around in the defensive zone while the Rangers controlled the puck, but Brett McLean came across and deflected away a pass that cleared the puck and allowed Weiss to get off. A shift later, Weiss was back on the ice with Michael Frolik battling a pair of Rangers along the boards for the puck. Frolik knocked it loose and as the Rangers were unable to move the puck away, Weiss poked it through the defender's feet and with his next stride, fired a perfect backhander between Lundqvist's pad and the post.
What followed was supposed to be an energy shift with Radek Dvorak, Gregory Campbell and Ville Peltonen on the ice, but after Campbell dumped the puck, he skated hard at the net while Dvorak rushed in after it. A quick centering pass to Campbell resulted in a third shot past Lundqvist and only twelve seconds after Weiss's goal, the Panthers had added a third.
Stephen Valiquette came in to replace Lundqvist after the third goal but in the third period, the Cats would score their fourth goal of the game, this time off the stick of Michael Frolik -- the second of his career.
As Weiss carried the puck in to Valiquette's right, Frolik streaked in on his left with a defender in between. Weiss made a quick decision and threw the puck on net which Valiquette turned aside, but the puck came in front of Michael Frolik and despite being at a very difficult angle, the rookie backhanded the puck into the net.
In goal, Craig Anderson stopped all 37 shots while the Panthers' four goals came on 30 shots.
Jay Bouwmeester was a +4 in 21:43. . . Michael Frolik's two point game is the first multi-point game of his career. . . Anthony Stewart fought Aaron Voros in the third after throwing a high hit on Voros seconds earlier, but Stewie still had heavily reduced ice time. . . Keith Ballard and Karlis Skrastins blocked four shots each. . . Rostislav Olesz led the Panthers with five hits. . . Shawn Matthias had one shift on a power play and a little under nine minutes on the afternoon. . . David Booth hurt his shoulder and didn't return for the third period. Although it's minor, he's "questionable" for Tuesday. . .
The Amerks are in action right now (you can listen online at WHTK's website) and they're ahead of the Toronto Marlies through two periods, 3-2.
Michal Repik and Janis Sprukts each have a goal and an assist. For Repik, his goal count is at seven and with his two points so far tonight, he now has fifteen and that leads the team.
Rochester called up another player from the Florida Everblades, as well (due to injuries): Kevin Baker, a 29-year-old winger, joined the club after a hot start in the ECHL -- 13 goals, 25 points through 15 games was good enough for third in the league. Baker played last night, although he was unable to help the Amerks as they fell to Grand Rapids, 3-1. Baker has already been sent back.
Ultimately, the game went into a shootout tied at three. Repik scored in his first attempt and in his second, put the puck off both posts. After eight rounds, the Marlies prevalied.
I'll have the updates on the young guys this past week tomorrow.