SUNRISE, Fla. (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins were looking to bounce back after a frustrating loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting Thursday night, but the Florida Panthers had other ideas.
Stephen Weiss’ goal with 3:30 left in the third period proved to be the difference as the Panthers knocked off the Penguins 3-2 Saturday night.
With the score tied 2-2, the Penguins took a too many men on the ice penalty, which the Panthers capitalized on.
Brent Johnson made an initial save, but was unable to find the loose puck around the crease. Weiss appeared to kick the puck toward the net, but also got a stick on it at the last second in the goalmouth scramble.
The goal was reviewed, but was deemed to be a good goal.
However, the Penguins would not go away quietly. Jose Theodore made several big saves down the stretch to preserve the win.
Pittsburgh got out to a quick start in the game as Chris Kunitz scored just 1:09 into the first period.
Pascal Dupuis fired a pass toward Kunitz, who was streaking to the net. Kunitz deflected the puck on net and chipped home his own rebound to give the Pens the early lead.
The lead wouldn’t last long as Brian Campbell lit the lamp about six minutes later.
Kris Versteeg found Campbell all alone in the high slot. Campbell took the open ice and beat a sprawling Johnson to tie the game 1-1.
The Panthers pulled ahead in the second period on a power play goal by Tomas Fleishmann. Again, Johnson made the initial save, but Fleischmann was able to find the loose puck and rip it into the net.
However, the Penguins would respond about seven minutes later.
Jordan Staal moved across the goalmouth, showing great patience, before sliding the puck under a fallen Panther and Theodore to tie the game 2-2. It was Staal’s 10th goal of the season.
Pittsburgh outshot the Panthers 41-31 in the game, including a 34-21 margin over the final two periods.
Pittsburgh will return home for a three-game homestand that starts Monday night against the New York islanders at 7 p.m.