Nottingham Panthers 7-3 Cardiff Devils (Elite League) 29.02.20
Nottingham Panthers 3-4 Coventry Blaze (Elite League) 01.03.20
Saturday night saw Nottingham Panthers recover from last weekend’s disappointing drubbings to record arguably their most impressive win of the season as they battered Cardiff Devils 7-3 at the Motorpoint Arena.
The Panthers went behind on the night through Mosey but levelled through Rob Lachowicz shorthanded as the two title challenging teams tied the first period scoring one each.
Cardiff immediately sprung into action during the second period as a minute in Martin netted during a powerplay to the away side but it was soon 2-2 when Tousignant levelled up before the Canadian netted his second of the night shortly after to give Panthers the lead.
Going into the last the game was in the balance and on a knife edge but Sam Herr grabbed his first of the night assisted by Perlini and Golokovs and Perlini himself made it 5-2 giving the home team a huge advantage. Martin pulled one back during a Cardiff powerplay but any hopes of reducing the deficit were lost for the Devils as Perlini made it six and Herr netted a seventh to ensure the Panthers took a memorable win.
That briefly closed the gap at the top of the table but yesterday Nottingham couldn’t make it a maximum point weekend losing to Coventry in overtime with the Blaze now just a point behind the Panthers in the table.
Schiestel gave Coventry a first period lead but Talbot levelled in the second before Venus restored the away sides advantage.
The Panthers levelled five minutes into the third through Golokovs before Perlini shot what looked to be the winner with less than two minutes remaining but Laakkonen tied with 36 seconds left on the clock during a powerplay.
OT was needed with no further goals so it went to a shootout with Coventry netting three of the five to Nottingham’s two so it was a bonus point loss that makes the title chase less likely going into the last eight games.
How things lie currently.. Sheffield top from 48 played with 63 points whilst Cardiff are second on 45 games with 62 points whilst Nottingham stay third on 58 points from 46 played. The Panthers however will be looking over their shoulders as Belfast below them are level on points having played a game more with the Giants next up in a double header in Northern Ireland this weekend. Coventry are currently fifth with also an eye on catching those above just a point behind the Panthers from the same amount of games.
Exciting stuff! We will know a lot more this time next week about where Panthers season is heading.
*Main image @PanthersIHC Venus nets for Blaze as Panthers are held at home before losing the shootout.