The Western Conference has dominated the Eastern Conference early this season, but the Minnesota Wild finished its first road trip against the East with just one win.
The Wild began a four-game road trip through four Eastern Conference cities with a win, but finished it off with a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers Saturday at the BB&T Center.
The Wild (3-3-3) controlled most of the play, but could not solve Tim Thomas.
Jonas Brodin got the only shot behind Thomas, with the help of Panthers forward Jesse Winchester, on the power play early in the second period. Brodin one-timed a pass from Dany Heatley that deflected off the stick of Winchester and went through the legs of Thomas.
The Panthers (3-6-0) tied the game with a power play goal by from Aleksander Barkov. The 18-year-old rookie deflected a shot from Tomas Fleischmann off the post and into the net with 13 minutes and 11 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Wild had a great opportunity to re-claim the lead a minute and a half after the Panthers scored with a two-man power play advantage. However, the Wild did a better job of killing the penalty than the Panthers. The Wild needlessly turned the puck over several times and never really got anything going toward the net.
The Wild's offensive woes have been a season-long problem. They have scored more than three goals just twice and were held to one goal in three straight games.
They have two days to figure it out before facing the division-rival Nashville Predators at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 – Aleksander Barkov. The Panthers forward scored a goal.
No. 2 – Jonas Brodin. The Wild defenseman scored a goal.
No. 1 – Mikael Granlund. The Wild forward recorded an assist.
Minnesota…..0 1 0 0 – 1
Florida….…..0 0 1 0 – 2
First Period – None. Penalties – Niederreiter, MIN (high sticking), 8:20; Brodziak, MIN (hooking), 9:58; Boyes, FLA (hooking), 10:57; Winchester, FLA (hooking), 12:26.
Second Period – 1, Minnesota, Brodin 3 (Heatley, Granlund), 4:05 (pp). Penalties – Fleischmann, FLA (hooking), 2:51; Fontaine, MIN (high sticking), 10:08; Veilleux, MIN (boarding), 15:37.
Third Period – 2, Florida, Barkov 3 (Fleischmann, Campbell), 6:49 (pp). Penalties – Konopka, MIN (tripping), 6:08; Gomez, FLA (holding the stick), 7:38; Campbell, FLA (slashing), 8:19.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shootout – Minnesota Parise (miss), Koivu (save). Florida Hubardeau (goal), Boyes (goal).
Shots on goal – Minnesota 11-12-4-3 31. Florida 7-8-6-1 22.
Penalty Shots - Player, team, time and period (penalty).
Goalies – Minnesota, Harding (21-22). Florida, Thomas (30-31). Referees – Mike Hasenfratz, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen – Steve Barton, Darren Gibbs.