The Florida Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention with their 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
The loss was Florida's third in a row and it dropped the team's record on the season to 33-33-11. After reaching the playoffs last season, Florida was unable to carry that over to this campaign. The Panthers had inconsistent play all season and also dealt with numerous injuries along the way.
With James Reimer unavailable, Florida was forced to turn to Reto Berra in the net. Things did not go so well for Berra however, as Montreal jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first period. The 30-year old never was able to settle in and ended up saving only 26 of his 32 chances.
Reilly Smith put the Panthers on the board with his second period goal. Smith had help from Jussi Jokinen on the goal, which cut the deficit to two at the time.
After Montreal went back up by three, Michael Matheson made it a two-goal game once again with his sixth score of the season. Matheson's goal came with assists from Mark Pysyk and Vincent Trocheck.
Florida had chances for more goals, but could not convert on the opportunities. The Panthers went 0-3 on their power plays in the loss.
Florida's road trip will come to a close on Saturday in Boston against the Bruins at 1:00 p.m.