The Florida Panthers entered this season hungry to defy expectations and compete for a playoff spot. Step one of that plan should be to stop the puck.
For the second time in just three games, the Panthers conceded seven goals. This time it was 23-year-old goaltender Jacob Markstrom getting pulled as a result instead of the currently injured Tim Thomas.
To be fair, containing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos is never an easy task. He was on fire tonight, scoring a rare hat trick that included shorthanded, power-play, and even-strength goals.
You can see all three of Stamkos’ markers below:
Valtteri Filppula also found the back of the net twice to give him four points in his first four games with the Lightning.
The Panthers won’t have much time to regroup before facing the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow. Naturally, that’s just about the last team you want to face when you’re struggling defensively.