"It looked like a kick to me," DeBoer said after the Panthers' 3-2 loss Sunday night. "The interpretation of that rule, I don't understand. I don't know if you have to take a punter's kick at it in order for it not to count. That's what the league gets paid to do, make those decisions, and we have to live with them."
Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun had the best angle on the play.
"It looked pretty clear to me," Vokoun said. "I don't know what else a kicking motion could be described as. It didn't surprise me that they counted it. They are trying to get the scoring up, so they are counting everything, I guess."
Horcoff, Dustin Penner and Ryan Jones scored in a 5:47 span early in the second period, and Nikolai Khabibulin made 26 saves for Edmonton, three nights after stopping 37 shots in a 4-0 home victory against Calgary in the Oilers' first game under coach Tom Renney.
"He was outstanding," Renney said about Khabibulin. "He was our best player. It's good to know we have that. It's probably not the last time we will see something like that. We're certainly going to have to minimize nights like tonight if we want to be a playoff team."
Khabibulin is returning for a back injury that sidelined him since November.
"I felt pretty good. I felt better today that I did in the first game," he said. "I think games like that are going to happen whether you're a young team or not. It's just good that we've got the two points."
Marty Reasoner scored twice in the second period for the Panthers in their season opener.
"It was frustrating because I don't think we got rewarded for the effort we put out," DeBoer said. "I thought we played a good game. We stuck to our game plan and did what we wanted to do. You should get rewarded for that and we didn't."
Reasoner beat Khabibulin to the stick-side corner at 6:11, but Horcoff's contoversial score restored the two-goal margin at 7:20. Taylor Hall, the first overall draft pick this year, assisted on winning goal for his first NHL point.
Reasoner completed the scoring with 2:09 left in the period.
Vokoun made 10 saves for the Panthers.
- The Panthers will continue their Western Canada swing in Vancouver on Monday night. The Oilers are off until Thursday night in Minnesota.
- It was the only meeting between the teams this season.
- Darcy Hordichuk played his first game for Florida after being acquired in a trade with Vancouver on Wednesday.