Panthers score 4 power-play goals to beat Penguins, 6-4
The Panthers' Tomas Kopecky looks for the puck as Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury defends during the second period.
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida scored four power-play goals en route to a 6-4 victory against the Penguins at the BB&T Center tonight.
The Panthers' power play had been in a 0-for-17 slump in its previous five home games, all losses.
It is the first time the Penguins (13-7) have allowed that many man-advantage goals in a game since a 6-4 loss in Philadelphia Dec. 13, 2008.
The Penguins, who had scored first in their previous 10 road games this season, fell behind, 1-0, at 13:57 of the opening period.
Florida's Tomas Kopecky got the first of his three goals when he backhanded a Brian Campbell rebound past Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun while Penguins winger Tyler Kennedy was serving a boarding minor.
James Neal pulled the Penguins even 51 seconds into the second period, as he took a pass from Sidney Crosby and beat Florida goalie Jose Theodore from along the right-wing boards for his 13th of the season. Chris Kunitz got the second assist.
The Panthers countered quickly, however, as Kopecky swept a Tomas Fleischmann rebound past Vokoun at 3:22, just three seconds after the Penguins had killed off a five-on-three disadvantage that lasted 108 seconds.
Brian Campbell made it 3-1 at 8:23, while Tanner Glass of the Penguins was serving a high-sticking minor, and Marcel Cog converted a Kopecky feed at 8:54, with Pascal Dupuis in the penalty box, to put Florida up, 4-1.
That prompted coach Dan Bylsma to replace Vokoun with Marc-Andre Fleury, and the Penguins started to rebound almost immediately.
Dustin Jeffrey sliced Florida's lead to 4-2 with his second of the season, as he beat Theodore from the top of the left circle at 9:51.
The Penguins then celebrated a successful penalty-kill by make it a 4-3 game 10 seconds after they returned to full strength, with Paul Martin scoring from the top of the right circle at 14:08.
The Penguins finally got a power-play goal of their own with 40.1 seconds to go before intermission, as a Chris Kunitz centering pass went off Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver and into the net.
The Penguins had a chance to go in front when Fleischmann was called for tripping 79 seconds into the third, but couldn't capitalize, and Fleischmann scored on a two-on-one break 10 seconds after leaving the penalty box to put the Panthers back on top.
Kopecky closed out the scoring and completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal at 19:01.
The Penguins are off until Thursday, when they will visit Carolina at 7:08 p.m.
That will be their first meeting with longtime teammate Jordan Staal, who was traded to the Hurricanes last June.
First Published February 26, 2013 10:19 pm