A team can't be expected to be perfect in 82 games, and the Pittsburgh Penguins tripped up tonight, losing their first game on the road 6-3 to the Florida Panthers.
It'd prove to be a rough and rocky start for goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, who made his NHL debut and surrendered six goals in his first game. Zatkoff and the Pens defense had a difficult time controlling the line of Brad Boyes, Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Fleischmann who combined for four goals and 10 points on the night.
It was an uphill battle the whole way for the Pens tonight. For the first time in the young 2013-14 season, they gave up the first goal of the game, and fell behind in a game for the first time. Although they'd tie it 1-1 once Evgeni Malkin converted on a slick pass from Beau Bennett, they'd soon be down 2-1. Craig Adams would score his third goal of the season (!!) to tie the game at two at the end of the first period, but that'd be about as good as it'd get for the Pens.
The second period saw the Pens give up their first goals while short-handed this season, surrendering tallies to Jonathan Huberdeau and Barkov to fall back 4-2. Pascal Dupuis would bring them back by one before the second ended on a nice pass from Sidney Crosby, but in the third period Fleischmann and Boyes slammed the door shut with goals to leave no doubt.
Definitely a game to forget for the Penguins. Zatkoff got hung out to dry but didn't look particularly comfortable back there as he saw goal after goal go by him.
Luckily for the Pens, they'll get a chance to get back on the ice tomorrow in Tampa and hopefully get a better effort from net out when they face the Lightning.