SUN Hockey Pool

Coach applauds Panthers after loss

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

The Florida Panthers figured they deserved better, and they probably did.

Making their regular-season debut, the Panthers out-played the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, but still posted a 3-2 loss.

“It’s frustrating in that I don’t think we got rewarded in the effort we put out,” said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer.

“I thought we played a good game, we stuck to our plan, we did what we wanted to do. You should get rewarded for that. It’s frustrating.”

The Panthers outshot the Oilers 28-13, but were victimized by three bad bounces in the second period.

Dustin Penner and Ryan Jones both scored on redirections in front, while Shawn Horcoff appeared to kick the puck past goaltender Tomas Vokoun.

“We played well; I’m not frustrated with how we played or in our effort,” DeBoer said. “I thought it was real good.”

Offensively, the Panthers had trouble beating Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who was very good early.

Only Marty Reasoner was able to get the puck past Khabibulin, firing a shot into the top corner in the second period and then later banging a rebound into the net.

“We did the things we’ve been working on for the past three weeks,” DeBoer said.

“We forechecked, we created opportunities, we limited theirs. We played a good game but didn’t get rewarded for it.”

The Panthers move on to face the Vancouver Canucks tonight before concluding their season-opening road trip in Calgary on Thursday.

“I think the first period was the difference, I thought we should have come out of there up by one or two goals,” DeBoer said.

“Khabibulin made a couple of big saves on breakaways early and then (the Oilers) were opportunistic.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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