The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Panthers
Five key elements from the Flames-Panthers tilt
Netminder Leland Irving made his NHL debut on Friday night and it was quite the showing. While he appeared to be a tad nervous in the opening minutes, he had an extremely strong outing once he settled into the game.
In addition to giving Kiprusoff a night off, the coaching staff made a couple of other lineup adjustments.
Mikael Backlund sat out as a healthy scratch, with Roman Horak slotting in on the third line. Brett Carson was also relegated to the press box as veteran Cory Sarich suited up for the clash in South Florida.
Like in Tampa, the Flames lack energy and focus in the early minutes of the game and it cost them a goal. The Panthers held them in their own zone, outchancing the Flames by a 6-0 margin in the early going, and were able to capitalize when the Flames were caught out of position during a scramble in front of the net.
Surrending the first goal of the evening seemed to wake them up and they answered back with their own goal. Olli Jokinen was able to beat Jose Theodore ten minutes into regulation with Curtis Glencross and Jarome Iginla earning the helpers.
The Flames ran into penalty trouble in the second period when Tim Jackman and Scott Hannan took minors in a 1:33 span. Irving and the penalty killers were on their game during on the ensuing 27 second 5-on-3 and continued that strong play for the remainder of the Hannan hooking infraction.
Jokinen had yet another excellent game, potting a goal and an assist against his old club. The former Panthers captain now has 25 points on the year.