The Penguins are in the midst of an identical 0-11-1 slide set during the 1984-85 season and are just six games away from the longest in franchise history, set in 1982-83.
Pittsburgh has been outscored, 49-16, during the current skid.
“We have to continue to work,” rookie goaltender Sebastien Caron said. “This season is not over. There are still things that can be shown by the players.”
Niklas Hagman started and finished the scoring for the Panthers, who swept the season series from the Penguins for the first time in their history.
Hagman scored 72 seconds into the game for the only goal of the first period, wristing the puck high past Caron. The Finn also closed the scoring with a wrister to the glove side on a 2-on-1 breakaway with Olli Jokinen at 11:10 of the third.
“Last time I played here, I also scored a goal,” Hagman said. “I hope we will play more games against Pittsburgh. I’ve got seven goals, I expected more this season. Most of this year, I’ve been struggling and our team hasn’t scored many goals.”
Florida outscored Pittsburgh, 18-4, in four meetings this season and improved to 6-0-1-1 against the Penguins in the last two seasons.
Between Hagman’s goals, the Penguins took a 2-1 lead in the second period on goals by Rico Fata and defenseman Dick Tarnstrom with the extra man. Rookie Guillaume Lefebvre, acquired before Tuesday’s trade deadline, assisted on both goals.
Fata finished with a hard slap shot from the slot that squeezed under Roberto Luongo’s left arm.
“Everybody can see the kind of bounces we’ve been getting,” Fata said. “We just have to continue to work through it, to continue our effort.”
Tarnstrom swiped the puck into a vacant side of the net after Lefebvre whiffed a set up by Mario Lemieux.
Denis Shvidki tied it on the power play with 2:15 remaining in the middle period. Jokinen scored the go-ahead goal and his first in seven games with 37 seconds while shorthanded.
“We had four goals in the last six games,” Jokinen said. “Today, we scored four. We can’t expect our goalie to stop our shots. Our goalie has been outstanding all year. Hopefully, the last nine games we’ll score more.”
Pittsburgh last won on February 22 vs. St. Louis and is 0-7-1 in its last eight home games. The Penguins have failed to score more than two goals in 10 straight games.
“It’s difficult when you’re not playing well,” Caron said. I love playing here, but we continue to struggle. We are trying hard.”