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Florida Panthers

Paul Maurice: No Comment on Officiating after Loss to Detroit

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Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice, pictured here last month in a game against St. Louis, did not have a lot to say following Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Red Wings. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

SUNRISE — After losing to the Detroit Red Wings in overtime on Wednesday night, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice was asked what “was the most frustrating part of how that game unfolded?’’

Maurice told Bally Sports Florida reporter Katie Engleson he would not get into it.

No one asked him about the officiating in the game — but that is where this was going.

“It was just the way that the, the change of,’’ Maurice said before stopping.

“I don’t want to answer your question, how about that? I am not going to lie to you, but I don’t want to answer that question.’’

A year ago Friday, the NHL fined Maurice $25,000 for going off on officiating in a 5-4 overtime loss in Toronto in which the Panthers were assessed nine minor penalties and were shorthanded seven times.

Florida allowed two power-play goals in the loss.

“There will always be penalties that you take in a game here,” Maurice said then. “But there is a whole lot you’re not going to like at all. We had the inordinate share of those hard-to-describe the calls. …

“I don’t know what the hell those two were doing tonight. It certainly wasn’t Florida Panther friendly.”

He also said his past relationship with an official in that game — Maurice has a lengthy history with Francois St. Laurent — played a role in the disparity.

“I just explained to them that it had nothing to do with my players,” Maurice said when asked what he told his team in the second intermission last year in Toronto.

“It has to do with a relationship I have with one of the referees. That’s what that was all about.”

In September, the league held a meeting with its coaches with a mandate that coaches not rip into officials anymore.

Maurice, according to a story in the Athletic, was shown berating officials in a ‘highlight’ video shown to coaches at that meeting.

Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said his pal Maurice “stole the show.’’

“Actually, they left out a bunch, which I was pleased with,” Maurice said. “They didn’t get some of my finer moments.”

Maurice was not in a joking mood Wednesday as a couple of penalties went against the Panthers, which could have been the difference in the outcome.

First, with 5:37 remaining, Evan Rodrigues was tripped by Robby Fabbri and went to the ice.

Instead of the Panthers going to the power play in a 2-2 game, Rodrigues joined Fabbri in the box after the officials called embellishment on the Florida forward.

In the final minute, after allowing many things to go unchecked, Aaron Ekblad was whistled for hooking Alex DeBrincat giving Detroit a power play to end regulation and start overtime.

Both Maurice and Ekblad were fired up after that one, and both were seen yelling at the referee who called it.

The two hooking calls and the embellishment were all that were called in the third period.

It was not just what was called — it was also what was let go.

With the 4-on-3 advantage in OT, Dylan Larkin whipped a pass from Shayne Gostisbehere past Sergei Bobrovsky to hand the Panthers their third straight loss.

Florida has gotten points out of the past two defeats, as it lost to Anaheim in overtime on Monday afternoon.

The Panthers certainly would have liked to have been at full strength at the end of this one.

“I’m disappointed,” Maurice said later. “The thing I am most frustrated with tonight, I am not answering. We’re not far off our game. I really believe that.’’

ON DECK

MINNESOTA WILD @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-0
  • This Season (Wild lead 1-0) — At Minnesota: Wild 2, Panthers 0 (Oct. 12). At Florida: Friday.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Minnesota leads 19-10-2, 1 tie
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at Nashville, 8 p.m.

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