Coming into Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Panthers had not scored more than three goals since Dec. 5, a span of nine games, including an 8-0 loss in their last game against Boston.
"That's what we were really looking for," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "They're a really good hockey team. We're so respectful of the talent and that's not just blabber after the game. We really were worried about the speed and the skill that they have and sometimes the best defense is a good offense."
"Right now with so many guys out, we may have to win games 1-0, 2-1, obviously it's nice to get a few," Campbell said.
Jose Theodore stopped 29 of 32 shots for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Florida was 2 for 3 on the power play. Toronto was 1 for 4.
The Maple Leafs trailed 4-2 in the third when Grabovski and Jake Gardiner hit the post on consecutive long shots.
Grabovski did score when a shot by Clarke MacArthur deflected off his left skate while falling backwards in front of the net. The goal at 9:17 was reviewed and upheld, and cut the lead to 4-3.
Fleischmann gave the Panthers a 5-3 lead as he sneaked a puck past Jonas Gustavsson from the right wing and the Panthers held on for the final eight minutes.
"He scores big goals for us, that's what big-time players do," Campbell said.
Florida, coming off an 8-0 loss to Boston on Dec. 23, struck in the opening period on their first shot on goal.
Tim Kennedy dug the puck off the side boards away from Joffrey Lupul and passed it back to Gudbranson, who rocketed a slap shot from the blue line past James Reimer' glove side for a 1-0 lead. It was the second goal of the season for the 19-year old rookie defenseman.
Nineteen seconds later, the Panthers responded as Thomas got ahead of the pack and scored on a breakaway as the puck slid off his stick beating Reimer.
"You can't do much about the guy who missed his shot," Reimer said. "It was a kind of a fluky goal."
Reimer's night ended after the Panthers extended their lead to 3-1 on a power-play goal by Garrison.
Reimer stopped five of eight shots before being replaced by Gustavsson, who didn't fare much better as Versteeg scored a 5 on 3-power play goal three minutes into his turn in net.
The Panthers' second-period scoring barrage, which included three goals in less than five minutes, gave them a 4-1 lead.
"It was 1-to-1 and we were controlling the game," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "They scored early but didn't have a sniff after that and from 1-to-1 we should've been able to springboard off of that and we immediately gave them the lead right back."
NOTES: Prior to the game, the Maple Leafs placed D John-Michael Liles on injured reserve due to concussion-like symptoms stemming from a hit by Buffalo's Paul Gaustad on Dec. 22. . Maple Leafs F Joffrey Lupul has recorded a point in nine of his last 10 games. . Panthers F Stephen Weiss (upper body injury) missed his second consecutive game. . Panthers top prospect Jonathan Huberdeau, the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, had a goal and four assists for Canada in an 8-1 win over Finland at the world junior hockey championship Monday. ... Former NFL and Florida Gators star Jevon Kearse was in attendance.
|Erik Gudbranson (2) ASST: Tim Kennedy (1)|
1 - 0 FLA
|Mikhail Grabovski (9) ASST: Cody Franson (6), Nikolay Kulemin (11)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Bill Thomas (1) ASST: Evgenii Dadonov (1), Mark Cullen (1)|
2 - 1 FLA
|PPG - Jason Garrison (11) ASST: Brian Campbell (25), Michal Repik (1)|
3 - 1 FLA
|PPG - Kris Versteeg (17) ASST: Brian Campbell (26), Tomas Kopecky (10)|
4 - 1 FLA
|Dion Phaneuf (5) ASST: Phil Kessel (22), Joffrey Lupul (23)|
4 - 2 FLA
|PPG - Mikhail Grabovski (10) ASST: Clarke MacArthur (7), Cody Franson (7)|
4 - 3 FLA
|Tomas Fleischmann (13) ASST: Matt Bradley (3), Brian Campbell (27)|
5 - 3 FLA
|Jason Garrison Hooking against Matt Frattin|
|Keith Aulie Cross checking against Tim Kennedy|
|Mikhail Grabovski Slashing against Dmitry Kulikov|
|Clarke MacArthur Too many men/ice - bench|
|Brian Campbell Holding against Carl Gunnarsson|
|Tomas Fleischmann Hooking against Tim Connolly|
|Mark Cullen Delaying Game-Puck over glass|