Panthers comeback effort falls short: Toronto 3, Florida 2 SO December 28, 2016

The Panthers injuries continued. This time it’s bad. Aleksander Barkov, the team’s best forward, left the game early in the 2nd period and did not return. Barkov’s injury is undisclosed, although someone tweeted a GIF of him on one of his last shifts blocking a Keith Yandle slapshot in the back. He will miss today’s game against Montreal.

The Florida Panthers fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto got a first period goal from Auston Matthews scored on a beautiful backhand rebound, with no defenders. Toronto scored again in the 2nd on the powerplay but it was taken back because of goalie interference. However, during the celebration there was a little roughhousing and Jussi Jokinen got a penalty to give Toronto a 5 on 3. Nylander took advantage of it and made it 2-0 Leafs. In the 3rd, the Panthers came out firing. Jonathan Marchessault, the goal scoring leader for the Panthers scored his 1st goal in 31 days on a neat shot. Marchessault had been out for a while with a couple of injuries and got his 11th goal. Vincent Trocheck’s 9th goal and 100th career point came on a beautiful rebound. Roberto Luongo was sharp. He had stoned Mitch Marner several times. However, Marner got the last laugh. In the 3rd round of the shootout with the score 0-0, Marner took a shot which took an unlucky bounce off Luongo and Toronto would win it. Denis Malgin had a penalty shot and missed. The Panthers had a season high in Shots on Goal with 47 and Toronto kept pace with them with the Leafs getting 40 shots on Roberto Luongo.

What’s Next?

Toronto: Tonight @ Tampa Bay       7:30pm

Florida: Tonight vs. Montreal          7:30pm