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NHL - US Sports: Brunette voices 60-minute challenge

Following three home defeats in a row, coach Andrew Brunette has challenged the Florida Panthers to improve their consistency level over a full 60 minutes.

The Panthers, 7/1 to win the Stanley Cup, were most recently defeated 4-3 by the Edmonton Oilers at FLA Live Arena on Saturday.

The recent dip in form has frustrated first-year coach Brunette, who replaced Joel Quenneville on 28th October, with the 48-year-old suggesting the Panthers may have begun to take opponents lightly following a red-hot first half of the NHL season.

Panthers slipping at home

Prior to losing the first three of a five-game homestand, also 6-4 to Nashville Predators and 6-3 to Columbus Blue Jackets, the Panthers had only lost three times in their first 26 home games of the season, heavily outscoring their opponents.

The Panthers arguably deserved more from the recent Oilers game, who they out-shot 47-22, but goalie Mikko Koskinen made them pay for areas in their game which Brunette says they need to "clean up".

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With a 35-13-5 record, the Panthers remain in first place in the Atlantic Division and have until Thursday when the Ottawa Senators come to town to make Brunette’s required adjustments.
He said to the media: "You need to realise how hard it is to win in this league. The focus of 60 minutes, not 58, not 59, not 40 like the other night.

"Every little puck counts, every little play counts. It's a good learning experience. Hopefully we start getting it a bit better."

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