‘I hope it doesn’t happen again’: Panthers penalized twice after fans throw plastic rats on ice

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Florida Panthers forward Quinton Howden made two third-period trips to the penalty box on Thursday — serving penalties called after fans threw plastic rats on the ice at the BB&T Center.

The first such incident brought on a warning after Jonathan Huberdeau got Florida on the board in front of the home crowd during the second period.

But it happened again in the third period, resulting in not one but two objects-on-ice penalties called against the Panthers.

Despite additional trips to the penalty box in the final period, the Panthers did hang on for the 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, taking over top spot in the Atlantic Division.

But, as you can see from the video clip, Florida’s coach¬†Gerard Gallant wasn’t happy with the fact his team was forced onto the penalty kill on two occasions because of the rats, especially in a close game near the end of a playoff race.

“I hope it doesn’t happen again because we’re battling for a playoff spot and trying to kill penalties and working hard,” said Gallant, as per the Sun Sentinel. “[Fans are] throwing stuff on the ice and know we’re going to get a penalty. We got to be smarter than that.”