Saturday, September 24, 2011

Article from

This is how Sun Sentinel writer, Harvey Fialkov, saw the game (and I will not comment.)

SUNRISE — While the Panthers clearly bolstered their offense and defense with offseason acquisitions of established NHL veterans, many hockey analysts have questioned whether they got weaker in net, inarguably the most important position on the ice.

After a shaky start and even worse finish Saturday night in his Panthers’ debut, goalie Jose Theodore, the heir apparent to Tomas Vokoun, won’t silence the hometown boo-birds yet after allowing two power-play goals early and three more in the third period in a 5-3 loss against the Lightning ‘B’ squad at BankAtlantic Center.

Theodore, 35, certainly was tested by the Eastern Conference finalists, who had downed the Panthers 5-2 Friday in Tampa. Although he gave up a soft goal just 1:29 in by Pavel Kubina, Theodore stopped a penalty shot by Carter Ashton that clanged off the crossbar in the middle frame, helping the Panthers take a 3-2 lead into the third period.

However, five minutes after a Tom Pyatt goal at 9:01, the Lightning struck nine seconds apart on tallies by Mattias Ritola and Teddy Purcell – who collided with Theodore on his follow-through.

“They started attacking us on speed and got us back on our heels. It’s a good lesson to learn,’’ said defenseman Ed Jovanovski in his first preseason game. “My legs felt a little bit heavy.’’

Similar to his Capitals’ days, Theodore was the beneficiary of a well-oiled offense. David Booth, skating in midseason form, tied it at 1-1 in the first on a spectacular breakaway goal.

The Panthers then scored two even-strength goals within 41 seconds in the second, the first coming on a sweet set-up on the doorstep from Tim Kennedy to Tomas Kopecky. Then Stephen Weiss fed Kris Versteeg, making their first appearance of the preseason, at the top of the left faceoff circle where he buried a slap shot past Mathieu Garon.

“You try to make sure you don’t give up those bad goals and give your team a chance to win,’’ Theodore said Friday. “I’ve been in situations with Washington where we’re scoring a lot of goals and I’ve been in Minnesota and Montreal where we didn’t score a lot of goals.

“It’s about making sure you make that next big save, always the next one.’’

Theodore had 25 saves, but was unable to make the, “next one,’’ when he needed to.

“I didn’t think he had much of a chance on a few of those,’’ coach Kevin Dineen said. “A slap shot through three bodies on the first one, some coverage issues as we went down the stretch.

“I don’t think he’s happy anytime you give up five goals, but I thought he had a pretty good showing for the first time in five months.’’

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