Jassen Cullimore ripped a slapshot from the top of the left circle that blew past Rick DiPietro for the Panthers OT victory Thursday night! Cullimore aquired in late October to help provide some veteran leadership on defense has been playing extremely well of late and is one of the few Panthers players with a plus rating.
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The former Lightning and Blackhawk defenseman has been seeing action in more important roles lately as Jacques Martin is developing a well deserved trust for him, and using him in some key situations.
Nathan Horton had a 3 point night for the first time in awhile netting 2 goals and an assist on a line that is really playing very well along with David Booth who scored a goal while traffic was being created in front of Islander goalie Rick DiPietro. DiPietro looked a bit rusty after missing 3 games due to a sprained knee, and for some reason between periods had to switch pads for what may have been due to them being illegal in size. No comment is what I have seen from the league so far, so we'll see. Not sure if that had anything to do with his performance, but he didin't look too sharp.
Craig Anderson starting his first game in quite awhile did an admirable job while facing 40 shots, though he gave the Islanders a gift when trying to clear the puck, it went off the shaft of Mike Sillinger's stick. He then almost repeated the same mistake 3 more times, but fortunately for him no goals were scored.
The Panthers played a pretty decent game keeping things simple, even though they put themselves in trouble with penalties a couple times, they stayed with their game plan and seemed as though most everyone was working hard to help give Jacques Martin victory 498 which gets him 10th place all time.
Martin had a team meeting earlier in the day to reinforce to his squad that they need to stop standing around, move your legs, move the puck, create traffic in front of the net, and get some shots on goal. If they play this way which wasn't fancy at all they will win their share of games. At this point in the season for the Panthers ever game is important. They are so close to the division lead that getting that could be huge, but they will have to keep the pace up. I thought it was a good idea to give Vokoun the night off as well.
Some interesting ice time:
Salei and Allen each played more than 27 minutes,
Boumeester played almost 36 minutes!
Ollie only played 15, and to me that's curious.
Finally Anthony Stewart was called back up as Tanner Glass was sent back to Rochester. As usual Anthony played on the 4th line and had about 7 minutes of ice time. I can't imagine he's happy about this. He's played close to 20 games, averages about 5-7 minutes, and has virtually no points. He's a former first round pick that has gone through some injuries and lazyness, but I cannot understand why he isn't given a better opportunity?
Next, 2 games against the Pens a home and home. Need those 4 points badly!
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