When German-born Marcel Goc came from Nashville to South Florida in 2011 to play for the Panthers, the star center had plenty to smile about.

In his seventh season with the NHL, Goc scored 11 goals in 57 games, his best career performance, helping to lead the Panthers to the Southeast Division championship.

What a difference a year makes.

Today, the Panthers are the team with the fewest victories in the NHL, without any prospects of reaching the playoffs.

And while Goc is a steady performer with excellent faceoffs, he has scored just four times in 29 games in 2013.

"Right now it's a little bit frustrating," Goc said earlier in the week. "The season is not going as well as everybody hoped for."

On Thursday, when the Panthers eked out a 5-4 shootout victory against Buffalo, three of the NHL's five German-born players were on the ice: Goc and the Sabres' Jochen Hecht and Christian Ehrhoff.

The other two German players in the league are Dennis Seidenberg, a defenseman for the Boston Bruins, and Alexander Sulzer, who is on the Sabres' injured reserve list.

For the 29-year-old Goc, hockey is in his blood.

His older brother, defender Sascha Goc, 33, played briefly more than a decade ago for the New Jersey Devils and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sascha Goc is now with the Hannover Scorpions in the German Hockey League, known as the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

The pair hail from Calw, in southern Germany near the Black Forest. They are the only German brothers ever to make it to the NHL.