Panthers fall victim to bye-week ‘hangover’

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How bad did things get for the Florida Panthers on Thursday?

Well, James Reimer got the start and was then pulled and replaced by Roberto Luongo after giving up three goals on eight shots. Luongo didn’t fare any better, surrendering three goals on 12 shots before he was given the hook, meaning Reimer was put back in the Panthers net for the duration of the game.

In the end, the Panthers came back from their bye week and were handed a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the L.A. Kings.

That ends a three-game winning streak for Florida, which only finally got back to full health and is looking to climb the Eastern Conference standings in the playoff race.

“It wasn’t pretty. Everyone knows it wasn’t pretty. We’re going to forget about it and move on. It was a bad game from start to the end of it,” said Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe, per the Sun Sentinel.

“We’ve been off four or five days so you saw the hangover from that. It’s not an excuse, just the reality. … [The tape’s] already being burnt.”

The loss means Florida stays four points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the East.

The Panthers now begin a five-game road trip, and it’s shaping up to be a difficult one. They’re in Nashville on Saturday, before flying out to California for games (three in four nights) against San Jose, Anaheim and L.A., before the trip concludes on Feb. 20 in St. Louis.