Aleksander Barkov started the game strong with two goals, one in the first period and another in the second to put the Florida Panthers up 2-1 over the Carolina Hurricanes.
However, the third period came and went for the Cats offense, and the defense felt the absence of defender Aaron Ekblad. The Hurricanes would go on a 4-0 scoring run in the third to win it 5-2.
In Barkov’s third game back from injury, he once again showed why he’s the captain of Florida’s offensive powerhouse. Since returning from injury, Barkov has five points on three goals and two assists.
Nonetheless, the Panthers’ offense has led to faults on defense. The move that put Florida at the top of the league this year was being more aggressive on offense, but that has left the blue line relatively unguarded. This has caused extended times on attack and goals but has also led to many defensive breakdowns.
Teams are figuring out defensive stops, and fast breaks are the only way to beat this potent offense. On Tuesday, the Hurricanes did just that to put themselves up 3-2 after starting the third period with a PPG and piled it on with two more empty netters to close it out.
“They’re a good team with the lead, and they got it,” head coach Joel Quenneville.
The Panthers lost the top spot in the league with this loss, but look to bounce back with a rematch on Thursday.
Star of the Game: Aleksander Barkov (2 G, 3 H, 2 BLK)
It was a great first couple of periods from the captain, scoring the lone two goals for the Panthers. Since returning he’s been making up for lost time with a strong five points in three games. Tonight’s loss was a tough one, but at least we are certain that the captain is back to his normal self.