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At the Rink blog

Panthers finally snap road hex

Sunday, 01.22.2012 / 2:13 PM

By Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Panthers finally snap road hex
WINNIPEG -- On Saturday night for the first time since early December, the Florida Panthers could leave a visiting building for the airport with two points packed away.

The Panthers' 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre finally ended an eight-game road drought for the Panthers. Florida had not won in an opponent's building since taking a 2-0 decision at Boston back on Dec. 8. That win in Boston was the Panthers' 10th road victory of the season before their long 0-4-4  tailspin unfolded.

"[Strong road play was] something that we really prided ourselves in at the start of the year," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "We had a strong road record, we played hard on the road, and it's something that we talked about before the season."

Given the circumstances, while the Florida dressing room fully acknowledged that the process lacked beauty and regretted surrendering a point to a division rival, the two points that the club carried back to South Florida were all that really mattered.

"We just needed a way to get a win, no matter how it happened," said Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen, whose 41-save evening helped the Panthers to steal a point in Winnipeg.

The Panthers are jostling with the Jets and Washington Capitals for control of the Southeast Division, which would help them avoid the dogfight for the seventh and eighth spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race that continues to unfold.

"We've got to keep pace with everyone," Clemmensen said. "We've got teams in front of us, we've got teams behind us, including [the Jets]. We had a good start to the season, but we can't just float on that."
Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres