Well, so much for carrying momentum into the break. Panthers lost a tough one tonight, 4-1. Mike Ribeiro had a hat trick for the Stars. I wasn't able to watch most of this game, thanks to being stuck at work late tonight.
From what I saw, Florida started strong, jumping to a 1-0 lead thanks to Karlis Skrastins (our defensemen sure know how to get the puck in the net, eh?). Florida doubled up Dallas on the shot total in the first as well, 10-5. It went downhill after the intermission. Dallas tied it, then took the lead with under a minute left in the 2nd. Those goals right before intermission are almost like getting two. The momentum never came back to Florida, and the Stars continued their rise post-Avery.
It was also a surprisingly physical affair. A couple fights and more then a few big hits (Nick Boynton is becoming a wrecking ball on the blue line, check out his demolition of Darryl Sydor... and Cory Stillman's one punch knockout while you're at it).
Oh well. So now the Cats (except for Jay-Bo and Michael Frolik) get almost a week off to get ready for the stretch run. Saturday night, Frolik will take place in the Young Stars game, and Bouwmeester will race around the rink in the Fastest Skater competition. Sunday is the All-Star game, and Florida's lone representative is Bouwmeester. The Panthers return to team play Tuesday. It should be a fun final 35 games or so, hopefully they'll all be meaningful...