The Florida Panthers have been treading water lately, but that’s not nearly good enough given their situation. After suffering a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay tonight, Florida will need a lot of help in order to advance to the playoffs.
Florida was behind 2-0 going into the second period, but the Panthers rallied back with goals from Jussi Jokinen, Brandon Pirri, and Jonathan Huberdeau all within the span of two minutes.
As impressive as that stretch was though, it wasn’t enough. The Panthers outshot the Lightning 14-8 in the third frame, but Tampa Bay was the only team to find the back of the net in that period. Ryan Callahan scored the game-winner with 2:28 remaining to prevent Florida from getting even a mercy point.
The Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators were both idle tonight, so the Florida Panthers remain four and five points back respectively. However, they have now played in one more game than Ottawa. That combined with the Panthers big deficit when it comes to the tiebreaker ROW makes it hard to envision a Panthers’ comeback. That being said, Florida will have an opportunity to spark a hot streak against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Here’s the hit in question, which occurred during Ottawa’s 4-1 win on Saturday:
The incident happened early in the second period, with Cowen receiving an interference minor. Jokinen appeared to be shook up initially but didn’t miss any time, finishing the game with 16:21 TOI.
Cowen, 24, did have a history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety as a repeat offender. Back in December of 2013, he was suspended two games for an illegal check to the heat of Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons:
As a result of today’s suspension, Cowen will miss Ottawa’s next three games: Wednesday in Anaheim, Thursday in Los Angeles and Saturday in San Jose.
Jared Cowen on suspension: “I’m disappointed. I think 3 games is a bit much. I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen is facing supplemental discipline for a late, high hit on Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen in Saturday’s game.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced via Twitter that Cowen will have a hearing with the league on Monday.
The hit occurred early in the second period, as Jokinen had entered Ottawa territory. He passed the puck off and didn’t appear to be expecting contact, when Cowen caught him up high with the hit. Cowen was assessed a minor penalty for interference. Jokinen was hurt on the play but remained in the game.