Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win

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One team just seems to do enough to win even with mounting injuries and illnesses. The other has been winning a lot lately, even if people mainly pay attention to their occasional attendance issues.

The Pittsburgh Penguins showed some moxie in grabbing a point on Monday, but the Florida Panthers ultimately got the “W” via a 4-3 shootout victory.

The Penguins grabbed an early 1-0 lead that they protected through most of the second period, but Jussi Jokinen scorned his former team by tying it 1-1 with about 30 seconds left in the middle frame. Jimmy Hayes scored twice early in the third period to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead, yet goals by Nick Spaling and Evgeni Malkin sent it to OT.

The Panthers generated a 37-27 shot advantage on Monday, yet Marc-Andre Fleury helped his team stay in there.

Many believe that Sean Bergenheim’s hit on Bobby Farnham served as one of the pivotal moments of the contest:

(Bergenheim also collected two assists, if you’re into more objective measures.)

Oh yeah, there was also that absolutely wicked Aleksander Barkov shootout goal:

Not to mention Roberto Luongo’s brilliant shootout save on Chris Kunitz:

Pittsburgh’s success has been remarkable with all of its health issues, as they’ve generated a point in all but one December contest, going 6-1-3 in its last 10 games. The Panthers haven’t been far behind with a 6-3-2 record in December.

There’s plenty of season left, but the Panthers made a statement that they shouldn’t be taken lightly while the Penguins showed that they’ll be a tough out even with plenty of players out of the lineup.